Spokane gears up for Hoopfest

Spokane gears up for Hoopfest

From check in, to free concerts, and everything in between, day one of Hoopfest is in the books and went smoothly despite the rain.

“Everybody came in,” Nike Tent Supervisor Claire Heytvelt said. “It was good to actually see a rush of people on Thursday.”

At the Nike Tent, business was booming. There’s merchandise, photo opportunities and one of the more popular attractions, the vertical jump test.

“Get down here,” Heytvelt said. “It’s our 25th anniversary and we have some awesome stuff.”

Thursday was also the check- in for Hoopfest participants. There’s roughly 7,200 teams this year. Many team representatives made it out this afternoon to pick up their packets.

“I’m very excited,” Ian Lainber said. “We’re Gonzaga students and this is the weekend we look forward to every year.”

While Hoopfest has 25 years under its belt, some are experiencing it for the first time.

“It blew me away when I drove in,” Drew Ness said. “It’s crazy.”

The day wrapped up with a free concert by Cami Bradley. Despite rain earlier in the day, it was a pretty big crowd.

“I can’t believe that people actually came out,” Cami Bradley said. “It’s rainy and wet and it just makes me feel so supportive and loved and it’s such a cool community thing.”

“A community thing” is an understatement. Roughly 250,000 people from all over the world are expected to make their way into downtown Spokane for a weekend of fun. However, for those 7,200 teams playing there’s only one thing on their mind these next couple days. Taking home the win.

“We won it last year,” Lainber said. “So it’s the quest for the two-peat, back to back.”

Team check-in continues Friday from 11a.m. to 7p.m. In Riverfront Park.