Commission votes to fund Hoop Jams

The Benton Advertising and Promotion Commission voted to give $10,000 to fund Hoop Jams at the Benton Event Center.

The 3-on-3 basketball tournament previously took place in Little Rock. According to LeJuan Washington, chairman and co-founder of Hoop Jams it was a huge success in the past.

This will be the first year that Hoop Jams will take place in Benton.

The two-day event will take place Sunday, Aug. 31, from 1 to 6 p.m., and Monday, Sept. 1, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event will be open to participants from second grade to adults. Each team will play a minimum of three games. Additionally, the tournament will include a 3-point shootout, a slam-dunk contest, pros v. joes competition, a kid zone with education in health and wellness, a food court, and shopping with various vendors.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Saline County and Central Arkansas.
LeJuan said he expects between 3,000 and 5,000 people to attend the tournament and additionally promised that the event would continue to be held in Benton for the next three to five years.

In other business, the commission worked to revise the alcohol policy for the Event Center. Currently, when customers want to have alcohol at their events, they give money to the Event Center to purchase the alcohol. However, if any is left over, it must remain at the center. This causes customers to spend more than what is consumed.

The commissioners agreed that they should now charge a fee per drink and then bill customers at the end of the events for the amount consumed. They also agreed to include a cash bar option for customers who wish to provide alcohol but have their guests pay for the service.

Customers who order too much alcohol for their events will be required to pay a stocking fee for the storage of what is left over.

This means that the Event Center will keep alcohol in stock and maintain spreadsheets for what goes in and out of stock.