As directors, we are constantly faced with challenges that a growing event can create. This summer’s Fast Eddy’s BAM Jam is no exception.
One of the challenges was handling the increased number of teams that participate in the summer. The summer tournament has grown 30% each year since 2008 and last summer (2011) we hit our capacity in the BoDo neighborhood.
BoDo was great. But combining the increased number of teams, the lingering dangers of a major highway (Myrtle and Front Streets) and little shade from the August sun, we knew that a new location would be needed. And it would need to be somewhere that could sustain continued growth over the next 8-10 years.
New locations often mean new restrictions. After talking with our staff and various city and county agencies (such as the mayor’s office, the DBA, Boise Police, ACHD) we selected the intersection of 6th Street and Bannock Street (click here to see the map) as our new home. However, since this was a high traffic area in the heart of downtown Boise, roads would not be able to be closed until 6:30 PM on Friday night to allow the normal flow of business. Therefore, since the tournament couldn’t start on Friday, it would need to run Saturday and Sunday.
This was truly a difficult decision that we did not take lightly. Ultimately we felt it was the best way to continue to reach the tournament’s goals: put on a first class event that our community can be proud and raise money for great local non-profit organizations. Plus, it provides access to beautiful Capitol Park, more accessible parking, a fantastic back drop to the Capitol Building and even more shops, restaurants and services in the Old Boise neighborhood.
You can still count on all the fun that BAM Jam has offered over the years. The majority of the action will be on Saturday including our Power Hour that features the Powerade Slam Dunk Contest and the ACHD Commuteride 3-Point Challenge.
And the fundraising continues. To date we have raised over $10,000 for local non-profits such as the Boys & Girls Club. We are again partnering with the Boys & Girls Club this year along with several high school programs. We will continue to run the event at the highest level and, in turn, provide a large economic impact for our community.