SPOKANE, Wash. – It is the single event that sells the most hotel rooms in Spokane every year, and this year 100 additional teams are in town for the Pacific Northwest Qualifier (PNQ) youth volleyball tournament.
An estimated 10,000 people will visit Spokane for the two-weekend event, including the teams traveling from about 25 different states and their families. The additional teams this year forced tournament staff to get creative with their building space: this year the Spokane Convention Center even converted its ballroom into a trio of tournament courts.
PNQ Executive Director Russ Poage said space is the only thing limiting the 600-team tournament from getting even bigger.
“We had to close registration this year just because we didn’t have any more space,” Poage said. “If we did have that, I’m sure we’d grow and grow.”
The Spokane Sports Commission identified the need for more indoor space for club sports events and wants to build an 80,000-square-foot facility for that purpose on the north bank of the Spokane River at Riverfront Park. Spokane Sports Commission President Eric Sawyer said a field house for that purpose would increase Spokane’s chances of hosting more major sporting events.
“We have identified in the neighborhood of about 300 events out there that we could bring to the community that we just don’t have a facility to support,” Sawyer said.
If we did, he said, the economic impact on the community would be significant.
The Spokane Sports Commission projects our local economy will see a $6 million bump from the PNQ tournament over its two weekends.