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Right now, Spokane is spinning like a white-hot top. Sure, we've got all the usual attractions -- Broadway shows, an incredible dining scene and outdoor splendor. But, when you head into spring, it's arguable that the main attraction is Spokane's sporting side.
Consider: the Gonzaga University men's basketball team is the number one ranked team in the country! This is an amazing, first-time-ever achievement for the Zags. What a way to head into March Madness, which, next to Spokane itself, is the Zags' home away from home. And this year, another first: the Zags are the tournament's No. 1 seed!
But the Gonzaga guys aren't the only game in town. For the third time, the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament will stop in Spokane. The McCarthy Athletic Center will host the first and second rounds March 23 and 25 and Washington State University and the Spokane Arena will host the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 rounds March 30-April 1. Expect to hear a lot during the tournament from the Lady Zags, who ended their regular season as conference champs and were selected to play in the Spokane Regional bracket. If you can't go to the games in person, here are some great places in Spokane to catch all the action. See if you can guess which one of these sports bars is connected to an NBA legend!
When you talk legendary, you have to mention the granddaddy of Spokane sporting events: Bloomsday. Every first Sunday in May, around 50,000 runners, rollers, walkers and joggers hit the road for this internationally famous run. Officially known as the Lilac Bloomsday Run, it's 7.46 miles of up and down road race. But, when it's Bloomsday time, everyone in Spokane is upbeat!
And let's beat the b-ball drum one more time! Spokane has been hoops crazy for a long time. Just peek out any door or window in late June during Hoopfest, the largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the world. You can practically feel the whole town bouncing as 27,876 players and over 225,000 fans (yes, you read that right!) whoop it up on 456 courts covering 42 city blocks.
Even if you choose not to compete yourself, there are plenty of local sports to root for in Spokane, happening year round! In the spring watch the Spokane Shock (AFL), Spokane Indians (MiLB) in the summer, and the Spokane Chiefs (WHL) late fall through the winter.
And don't forget about other big time sporting events that are now calling Spokane home. In late March, the USA Women's Volleyball Pacific NW Qualifier takes place at the Spokane Convention Center, HUB Sports Center and Eastern Washington University. On April 13, the largest one-day youth wrestling tournament in the nation, the Jason Crawford Memorial Wrestling Tournament, will hold its 23rd annual competition at Eastern Washington University. Most recently, the 2013 USA Boxing National Championships were scheduled to take place at Northern Quest Resort & Casino April 5-6, and will continue to be held at the resort through 2016.
So get in the game and get over to Spokane! You're going to love the sports groove here!