5,000 People Expected in Downtown Yakima for Basketball Tournament
YAKIMA, Wash - More than 5,000 people are expected to pack the streets of downtown Yakima this weekend for the 5th annual Hot Shots Basketball Tournament.
Chris Malland is one of the owners of Sports Center Restaurant on Yakima Avenue. He says the restaurant wasn't as well known last year for the tournament, but hopes to capitalize on the big crowds this weekend.
"We'll definetly have the opportunity, there is going to be five thousand people down here, hopefully we can get some of their attention," says Malland.
Not just attention to local restaurants, but to the new downtown improvements also.
"Now we can showcase the plants that are all in, it's green, the tree's are all up, it's a pretty area, I think it really does put a good showcase on downtown," says Rich Austin of the Yakima Valley Sports Commission.
Austin also says the city can expect to make over 150,000 from over night stays in hotels.
"It's our mission to bring in events from out of town that will bring in over night stays, our mission is to boost the economic impact of Yakima Valley with sorting events," explains Austin.
There will be 24 courts set up on Yakima Avenue starting Friday night. It will be shut down starting at 7 p.m. from 1st to 4th Street. Also one block north and south on 2nd and 3rd Street.
All the action will be starting Saturday morning at 9. It is free to watch over 260 teams compete in a bracket style tournament. The games will be done by sunday night.