Streets Closed, Courts Ready For Hoopfest
SPOKANE — The streets are closed and the courts are taped. Downtown Spokane is ready to go for the first Hoopfest games Saturday morning.
Once the clock hit 6:45 p.m. Friday night, teams got to work setting up all 409 courts. It’s a race to get everything set up in time for tipoff on Saturday.
Start early, finish early. It’s the philosophy of Dave Stenersen and his fellow volunteers. He’s been taping courts for nearly as long as Hoopfest has been around.
The volunteers get it down to a science.
“One or two courts, and then it starts going,” says volunteer Dan Figy.
“Every year, you forget,” Stenersen says. “Every year, ‘What do you do? Oh yeah.’ Once it comes back, it’s really fun.”
The first step is shutting down downtown. Spokane Falls Boulevard, Main Street and Post Street close in quick succession.
Behind the barricades, crews can get to work. Each line must be precise, each measurement must be exact. The race is on.
“It’s kind of fun to see how fast you can get it done,” says Stenersen.
One group of 16 volunteers planned to setup 40 courts as fast as possible.
“It takes about three hours, three and a half hours,” Figy says, “once we figure out what we’re doing.”
For all of the court tapers, it’s a chance to be involved, a chance to donate some time to this huge event.
“Definitely playing is a lot harder than taping, that’s for sure,” says Figy.
And when the playing is done?
“All these 16 people don’t show up to take them down,” Stenersen says. “About three or four show up to take them down.”
Most of downtown is blocked off for Hoopfest. Before you head down on Saturday, check for parking or STA’s shuttle service. Games start at 8 a.m.