SPOKANE -- Hoopfest 2009 is underway in Downtown Spokane this weekend. It is the biggest 3-on-3 street basketball tournament on the planet. Over 6,400 teams, 3,000 volunteers, 200,000 players and fans are taking part in the event. Hundreds of basketball courts span 40 downtown city blocks.
Hoopfest is a place for players of all ages and abilities from all over the country to come together in pursuit of the ultimate goal: to become a Hoopfest Champion.
Opening ceremonies get underway at 7:55 Saturday morning. The Comcast Elite Division games start at 8:00 a.m. NBA All-Star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar makes an appearance at the Nike Center Court at 9:45 a.m. You can catch the Women's Marine Air Slam Dunk Competition at 12:30 p.m. The men's slam dunk competition start at 1:00 p.m. The youth elite games begin at 8:00 a.m.
Most of Downtown Spokane is closed to traffic. All north-south routes will have limited access. The main downtown grid will be shutdown. They will stay closed until Sunday night at 10. If you are trying to avoid all the congestion, there are special buses running this weekend. The shuttles cost a dollar and run every ten minutes. One loop starts from the WSU Riverfront campus. The second loop starts at the park and rides along Jefferson Street between third and fourth avenues.