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If there’s one thing that officially says “summer in Spokane” to me, it’s Hoopfest. Hoopfest is the largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the world and will be held in Spokane this year from June 24-25, 2023.
Walking through Hoopfest is surreal – everyone is hyperfocused on the game, the score, the players. You smell sunscreen, see tons of water and Gatorade everywhere, and everyone’s got a smile on their face (for the most part, even if people lose!). This huge outdoor basketball tournament definitely says ‘summer in Spokane’, and it’s a can’t-miss event everyone should try once!
Hoopfest is competitve, but also fun. It’s good for adults as well as kids, and there’s plenty of entertainment for everyone. Sit in on one game, or stroll through half a dozen. Hoopfest is summer in Spokane. If you’ve never experienced it before, we’ll walk you through what is Hoopfest, what you should know if you go to Hoopfest, and how you can best experience Hoopfest for yourself!
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What is Hoopfest?
Hoopfest is the biggest 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the world, attracting more than 250,000 players and fans from all over the world. Held in the last weekend of June (Hoopfest takes place from June 24-25, 2023), thousands of teams, with 24,000+ players, shutdown 45 city blocks for the Inland Northwest’s premier outdoor basketball community event.
There are more than 3,000 volunteers at Hoopfest, attending to 422 courts spanning 45 city blocks. Hoopfest is a big deal!
The best part about Hoopfest is that anyone, of any skill, can play. Teams are made up of four players, with three players on the court at each time. Each team is guaranteed three games and every participant gets a Hoopfest Player t-shirt. It’s no surprise that many people covet these t-shirts – I knew people who had played Hoopfest since they were little and tried to collect a shirt every year!
Check out the following videos to see what it’s like attending Hoopfest:
Games are about 25 minutes long, although I say “about” because “the target score for all games is 20 points, meaning the first team to reach 20 points within 25 minutes of play is declared the winner.”
This means games move pretty fast, so if you’re there to watch someone play, get there quickly and don’t go wandering off! If you’re interested in playing or signing up with a team, you can learn more at the Hoopfest FAQ page.
Is Spokane Having Hoopfest This Year?
Yes, Spokane is having Hoopfest this year! In 2023, Hoopfest in Spokane will take place from June 24 to June 25. Root for your favorite team, or walk around the streets of Spokane and enjoy all of the players (including some college superstars!)
Is it Free to Attend Hoopfest?
Yes, Hoopfest is 100% free to attend! It does cost money to be a Hoopfest competitor, and some events (like the shooting competitions) cost money, but Hoopfest is free to attend.
Is There Anything Happening Before Hoopfest?
During Hoopfest weekend, there will be a variety of other events to enjoy, including:
- TOYOTA SHOOTOFF – RiverFront Park – North of the Orange Bridge
- RODDA PAINT CONTEST ZONE – Spokane Falls Blvd & Wall (Skate Ribbon)
- MULTICARE SLAM DUNK COMPETITION – U.S. Pavilion
What Else is Going on During Hoopfest?
Not into basketball? That’s okay – Hoopfest also hosts an outdoor festival with shopping, food and entertainment. You can follow along with all the Hoopfest fun on social media with the hashtags #Hoopfest.
The best part of attending Hoopfest, besides watching all the incredible players having fun, is walking around the streets of downtown Spokane and Riverfront Park and getting something tasty to eat, finding a shady area, and enjoying our great summer weather!
Where and When is Hoopfest in 2023?
Hoopfest 2022 will be held from June 24-25, 2023 in downtown Spokane. Hoopfest will take place on 45 city blocks downtown, so be prepared for a lot of detours and closed roads. You may want to consider taking an Uber, Lyft, carpooling or public transit to get downtown to enjoy the festivities.
Where Should I Park to Attend Hoopfest?
Parking to attend Hoopfest will be a challenge this year! With all the growth and construction occurring in and around downtown Spokane, it will be tough to find parking for participants, let alone spectators. Plan on heading down to Hoopfest early to get a parking spot, and be prepared to pay to park downtown.
You should still head over to Hoopfest early, but luckily STA (Spokane Transit Authority) will be providing a $2 Hoop Loop! You can learn more about Hoopfest here and public transit options here.
There will also be opportunities to park downtown between Howard and Stevens on W Main Avenue at the Parkade. Learn more here.
What’s the Best Way to Experience Hoopfest?
There are a few good ways to experience Hoopfest, including volunteering, attending and watching the event!
Volunteering at Hoopfest
One of the best ways to experience Hoopfest as a new Spokane resident is to volunteer! If you’re not playing in Hoopfest, volunteering will get you up front and center to enjoy everything Hoopfest-related. Learn more about volunteer opportunities, including Hoopfest Court Monitors – the best way to see the Hoopfest action!
Hoopfest can be crowded and hot, and you may feel overwhelmed while walking around. However, much like Bloomsday, it’s worth it to experience Hoopfest at least once for yourself!
Many people attend Hoopfest from all over the world, so you won’t be the only person new to the experience.
Plus, the weather during Hoopfest is typically nice – expect temps for Hoopfest 2023 to be in the mid-80s.
Eating & Drinking Around Hoopfest
One of our favorite ways to experience Hoopfest? Eating, of course! Depending on where you are, you have a lot of delicious options. Here are our recommendations (map below to help you out!). Two of our strongest recommendations to visit while attending Hoopfest?
- Stop at My Fresh Basket to pick up delicious sandwiches, snacks and plenty of WATER before you head to Hoopfest! People at Hoopfest sometimes shout at the top of their lungs, so you’ll want some drinks for the shouting and the warmer weather!
- Ice cream at Sweet Peaks (downtown Spokane) – trust us, you’ll want it after a long day at Hoopfest!
- If you’re looking for more fun things to do this summer, check out our list on things to do in Spokane!
If you have time, we highly recommend going to Mizuna for lunch or dinner (also downtown), and Durkin’s Liquor Bar (to toast your fun time at Hoopfest!).
I Can’t Attend #Hoopfest2023 – When Will it Be Held Again?
Hoopfest dates for 2024 haven’t been announced yet, but we will post them here when they are!
Do you have more questions about Hoopfest? Check out the Hoopfest website and learn more here!