Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement postponed to May 2021, moved to Mohegan Sun due to coronavirus

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Basketball Hall of Fame has rescheduled the 2020 Enshrinement Ceremony to 2021 and moved to Mohegan Sun due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame made the announcement on Friday. The Enshrinement was originally scheduled to be on August 29 of this year but was postponed. The new date will be the weekend of May 13-15.

According to a news release sent to 22News, due to the continuing impact of COVID-19, several full time positions have been eliminated and there have been cuts in the senior management as the Hall of Fame continues to deal with declining revenues.

The Hall of Fame was hoping to reschedule for October of this year if the virus started to subside. As of Thursday, the Department of Public Health reported 319 new COVID-19 cases in the state bringing the total to 113,517 with 8,568 deaths.

“These are people who have been a big part of the Hall’s success in recent years; it hurts deeply. The decision to reschedule Enshrinement into May of next year, along with diminished museum guest visitation and a very uncertain future regarding our multiple collegiate and high school basketball events this fall, has forced us to make these very difficult decisions. Our goal now is to conserve resources so that we may stabilize in 2021 and return to our growth trajectory in 2022 and beyond,” John Doleva, President and CEO of the Hall of Fame said.

According to Doleva, because of the pandemic, they decided to move the event to Mohegan sun where they can effectively operate a ‘near-bubble’ for the event that provides a more secure environment for guests.

“In making this announcement today, our goal is to provide this date and location change with ample notice for our network broadcast partners, nationally and internationally traveling guests, and the many basketball constituents the Hall serves,” Doleva said.

The Class of 2020 includes the following:

  • 18-time NBA All-Star and five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant
  • 15-time NBA All-Star and three-time NBA Finals MVP Tim Duncan
  • 15-time NBA All-Star and nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection Kevin Garnett
  • Four-time National Coach of the Year Eddie Sutton
  • Two-time NBA Champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich
  • 10-time WNBA All-Star and four-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings
  • Three-time NCAA National Championship Coach of Baylor Kim Mulkey
  • Five-time Division II National Coach of the Year Barbara Stevens
  • Longtime FIBA executive Patrick Baumann

Mayor Sarno released a statement on Friday saying:

“While I am not happy and very disappointed in this decision, which I previously indicated to officials of the Basketball Hall of Fame; I take John Doleva at his word, that this is a one-time occurrence due to the circumstances he has stated.  I, our business community, residents, and visitors, look forward to next year’s enshrinement ceremony back here in Springfield, where it rightfully belongs. The City and I will continue our working relationship with the Basketball Hall of Fame.”

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno

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