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2019 Gus Macker Tournament

August 16-19, 2019

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Location: The River West Great Place (the intersection of Michigan Street and King Street)



In the fall of 2015, the neighborhoods of the near westside were selected as one of five “great places” as part of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Great Places 2020 program.  The epicenter of near westside’s great place is at the intersection of Michigan Street and King Street.

Throughout 2016, LISC joined other neighborhood residential, business, and education stakeholders to create a master plan for the selected great place locations.  Along with this planning process came a rebranding effort that created the near westside neighborhood’s new name – River West.

The Great Places 2020 program is serving as a catalyst for reviving the River West neighborhoods for both businesses and residents.  The master plan for the River West revival can be found at http://greatplaces2020.org/riverwest/.


The 2019 Gus Macker River West Classic

Beginning in 2016, stakeholders in the River West area started a dialogue regarding a community engaging event that could bring positive attention to the River West neighborhood.  Out of these conversations was born a concept – create a basketball tournament to be held in River West that would engage all age groups and that would also generate proceeds to benefit charitable institutions in the neighborhood.

Led by a committee formed by Near West 21, Inc., the concept became a reality with the formation of the Gus Macker River West Classic 3-on-3 basketball tournament. The tournament is a sanctioned Gus Macker event and will be held on courts erected on Michigan Street the weekend of August 17-18.

The vision of the River West Classic event is to create a basketball tournament that all age groups and abilities can participate in, and also an event that engages both participants and basketball fans from the community.  The event will be a festival in nature, supported by local vendors and an assortment of food trucks providing great food and drink. 

All profits from the River West Classic will be equally distributed to three institutions that support the River West neighborhoods – Christamore House, the Haughville Library, and Gleaner’s Food Pantry.


River West Classic Sponsorship Opportunities

The River West Classic organizing committee will be approaching the business community in search of sponsors for the event.  The Classic will be a unique branding opportunity for all sponsors – the last Gus Macker tournament was held in Indianapolis over 10 years ago. Past Indianapolis Macker tournaments have routinely attracted over 400 teams and 10,000 spectators.

In addition to brand recognition provided to the sponsors, each sponsor can know with confidence that they are supporting a fun event that will be generating needed funds for the three neighborhood institutions identified above.  More information about River West Classic sponsorship opportunities can be found in the pages that follow.


About Gus Macker

Gus Macker 3-on-3 tournaments are designed so that anyone can play: male or female, young and old, short and tall, the most experienced or no experience at all.  This approach maintains the purity and integrity of the “driveway” basketball game.  Since 1987, the Gus Macker tour has expanded, holding a total of 972 tournaments with over 2.2 million players – male and female from 7 years old to 50+, and more than 23 million spectators.

The charitable aspect of Gus Macker tournaments is a very important part of each event.  At each Gus Macker tournament, profits from the event are donated to local charities, and are complemented by other funds generated through concession sales, special events, and other on-site activities.  More information about Gus Macker tournaments can be found at www.macker.com.


About Near West 21, Inc.

Neat West 21 is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in River West.  The organization was founded and initially funded in 2016 by Jim and Lisa Kinney.  The Near West 21 mission is to provide cultural and economic development support to River West through projects that are executed throughout the year