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Spokane business owners prepare for floods of people as Hoopfest approaches

In less than 24 hours, downtown Spokane will be transformed into the largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the world.

SPOKANE, Wash. — You might call it the calm before the storm.

In less than 24 hours, downtown Spokane will be transformed into the largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the world.

Basketball hoops line the sidewalks and it's a welcome sight for Durkin's Liquor Bar Owner Debra Green.

"Pretty excited to have the activity back downtown," Green said. "I mean, it's been kind of a dry spell. It feels really good to see the city opening up again and to see folks coming to town."

Debra has her own team and game plan to make sure customers are accommodated.

"It's definitely going to be good for business," Green said.

Ralston Read is the front house manager at Wave Island Sports Grill and Sushi Bar, right near the center of all the action.

"After two years off, I just can't wait," Read said. "Just to see people out there again, doing what we do best in Spokane."

Hoopfest officially kicks off Saturday morning, but some players and their families are already here.

As of Thursday morning, 14,000 players in 3,500 teams have signed up, far less than the 6,000 teams Hoopfest was used to hosting before the pandemic.

On Friday at 7 p.m., things will really start to get in motion. Streets will shut down and basketball hoops will be set in place. It used to take volunteers all night to set up, but Hoopfest says they have it down to a science. Now, they finish in 2-3 hours.

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