Hoopfest Is History

SPOKANE — Nike Center Court is gone, the bleachers are gone, the tents are gone and all of the players and fans have left as Hoopfest 2008 has entered the history books.

Just 24 hours ago Hoopfest spanned 400 basketball courts across 42 blocks in downtown Spokane. Everything has already been dismantled and put in storage for next year.

“Amazing how quickly they put up the site and take it down,” Spokane Hoopfest executive director Rick Steltenpohl said.

The Spokane Hoopfest Association is calling this year’s event the biggest and best in Hoopfest history.

“Great weekend, record number of teams, record number of players, it was hot but it was fun,” Rick Steltenpohl said.

More than 25,000 players participated in more than 13,000 games this weekend. Despite a record breaking turnout and near record breaking heat players and fans alike kept their cool.

“As far as the number of incidents that we had to respond to both during the day and at night they were down and that was nice this year,” Spokane Police Corporal Jon Strickland said.

Strickland has worked Hoopfest weekend for ten years and says this year’s was unusually quiet.

“I think people realize it’s hot outside and emotions are high and people cooled down,” Strickland said.

Drunk drivers apparently took a break as well. Last year there were 70 DUI arrests during Hoopfest weekend; this year there were only 22.

While players and fans are back home, the organizers for Hoopfest aren’t taking a break any time soon. In fact, they’re already working on plans for Hoopfest 2009.