Preparations underway for upcoming Hooplandia tournament
WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Ahead of the brand new three-on-three basketball tournament and festival this month, the Eastern States Exposition team has been working overtime to bring participants and fans an event they won’t forget.
The courts are painted and the hoops are up, all in preparation for the first-ever Hooplandia at The Big E fairgrounds in West Springfield. Over 70 hoops have been constructed and the grounds have been mapped out for 50 outdoor and 20 indoor basketball courts ahead of the three-day three-on-three events. Eastern States Exposition President and CEO Gene Cassidy told us this event was no ‘buzzer beater.’ He said the tournament has been about eight or nine years in the making and after several ‘fouls’ from the pandemic derailing their plans, it’s finally time to ‘rebound’ and bring basketball home.
“We were driving with a group of fair managers out in Washington state and on the highway, we saw a highway sign that said ‘Spokane, Hooptown USA,” Cassidy explained.
Cassidy said, in that moment, he thought to himself, “Hooptown is Springfield.”
Ever since then, they’ve been working to bring a large scale three-on-three tournament to the greater Springfield area.
“Where it belongs right…We’re the birthplace of basketball. We have so much to celebrate. The Hall of Fame is right here in our backyard,” Cassidy added.
In partnership with the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, they’re already on track to have at least 1,000 players on the grounds and Cassidy said he hopes the first year will be a ‘slam dunk’ to make Hooplandia the second largest three-on-three tournament in North America This event isn’t just for players. Cassidy told us spectators can expect a festive event with food and entertainment, along with sneaker painters and much more!
“This is going to drive spectator support for our region. It will help our regional economy. It will draw attention to the Basketball Hall of Fame,” Cassidy noted.
Hooplandia will take place June 23 through June 25 and it’s open to basketball players of all ages and abilities. For every player who registers, $10 will be paid back to the Boys and Girls Club closest to their zip code.
Copyright 2023. Western Mass News (WGGB/WSHM). All rights reserved.