SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Every year basketball’s best are honored with an orange jacket when they get enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, the birthplace of the game.
This year due to COVID-19 the class of 2020 will have to wait a little longer for the enshrinement ceremonies.
22News spoke with the Hall of Fame President and CEO John Doleva on Wednesday who said the Hall would wait until the middle June to make a decision about enshrinement. However, the announcement to postpone the ceremony was made hours later Wednesday night.
According to ESPN, Chariman of the Hall of Fame’s Board of Governors Jerry Colangelo said that enshrinement ceremonies for the class of 2020 will be moved to spring of 2021.
Statement on Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Enshrinement:
“At this time, I can now confirm that the August 28-30 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremonies have been postponed. Given the unprecedented challenge of planning in the COVID-19 era, we are exploring several scenarios to accommodate the Class of 2020 ceremony, including postponing the festivities until October or early 2021 as mentioned by Chairman Jerry Colangelo. In accordance with our original event planning timeline, the Hall of Fame will review all options and reserve its final decision to the week of June 15. Further information will be forthcoming at that time. The health and safety of our Class members, returning Hall of Famers and Enshrinement guests is of paramount importance in our decision-making process. Again, we congratulate the highly anticipated Class of 2020 and look forward to gathering to celebrate their tremendous careers and impact on the game when it’s determined safe to do so.”John Doleva, Basketball Hall of Fame President & CEO
Before it was decided to move the enshirement to next year, some options included moving the enshirement to October and moving the venue to the MassMutual Center which can seat more than 8,000 people. That’s four times as many as Springfield Symphony Hall.
But, officials didn’t think those options were possible. The class of 2020 is one of the best ever that includes the late Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett.
Although the ceremony is happening later than expected, local businesses still expect a significant turnout.
“There’s an uptick in reservations and for that week we will over-staff and overbuy, when there’s a lot of people in the city for an event like that we tend to get full for hours.”
Colangelo emphasized that the class of 2020 will have their own ceremony separate from the class of 2021.