The Gus Macker 3-on-3 basketball tournament’s debut on Grand Island was a success.
Town Supervisor Mary Cooke said everything went very well, and noted that the town’s initial concerns over security and crowd size turned out not to be an issue.
“Well I think any time there’s an unknown, you have to plan for it. Everybody’s concerns were justified. We had a tournament that could have gotten as many as 500 teams. I believe in the end we’re at 282 or something like that. So it didn’t get as large as it might have. So therefore we probably have a few less cars than we would have and a lot less crowds. But in general things have gone very, very well,” said Cooke.
Games were played along Grand Island Boulevard, between Whitehaven and Baseline Roads, which Cooke said had little impact on local traffic. Cooke believes Grand Island could handle a larger crowd nest year.
“The crowd we had this year proved that the organization is here. I guess there’s some kind of timing thing. I don’t know if it will always be in August. If it does come back, it may come back at a different time and, of course, that affects everything. And then it could rain and that would affect everything too. But it certainly appears that we have the capacity to do this,” said Cooke.
Cooke added that the crowds were respectful and participants obeyed local parking signs.
Buffalo had been home to Gus Macker tournament for years, but financial issues pushed it out to Darien Lake Amusement Park last year. The park's new management decided not to host the tournament again this year.