SPOKANE, Wash. — Hoopfest is moving from its traditional June slot to Sept. 11 and 12 for 2021.
In an announcement on the tournament's website, organizers said they hoped the schedule change would give them the best chance of enjoying the event in-person this year.
"This move provides us the longest timeline to ensure that Hoopfest 2021 will not only be epic but also be safe for us to enjoy," reads a message on the Hoopfest website.
"We want Hoopfest so badly, we want to do everything we can to enjoy an amazing world class event, a hugely impactful event, and so when we start to reflect on 'gosh what gives us the best chance to actually execute the event?' that was a longer timeline," Hoopfest Executive Director Matt Santangelo.
Last year, Hoopfest was forced to hold the event virtually for the first time in the event's thirty year history amid rising COVID-19 cases in Spokane County.
Santangelo said he hopes the event will help some of the industries which have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past the tournament has made the Spokane's tourism industry around $50 million dollars.
"At the end of the day we're a community organization, we're a small business, a small non-profit business. that has this awesome community event that generates a roughly $50 million impact to our economic region," Santangelo said. "And those are businesses that need our help... So to be able to have something like Hoopfest on the calendar, even if it's later in the year, is really important to us too because it's our way of giving back."
This year, volunteer registration will open on April 19 and team registration will open on June 1. The organization said if the event is canceled due to COVID-19 they will issue refunds, however if the event can move forward the organization will revert to their no-refunds policy.