SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Springfield takes pride in its connection to the sport of basketball, which is why the community is celebrating the return of Enshrinement weekend for the Class of 2021.
The annual event generates a lot of tourism dollars for Springfield, so many local businesses were disappointed when last year’s Enshrinement was held 70 miles away at Mohegan Sun.
“Circumstances were tough last year, but bringing it back here, the birthplace of basketball. The museum is right across the street,” Michael Pietrzak, the director of partnerships for the Basketball Hall of Fame said. “We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback, we’re doing a lot of cool unique stuff we’ve never done before, we’re planning an extra kind of Springfield-based day around enshrinement weekend too.”
Springfield-based, White Lion Brewing Company jumped at the opportunity to help celebrate one of Springfield’s greatest legacies, creating an Ale with a collectors label.
“A portion of these proceeds will go back to the hall of fame, as part of a program, that invests in youth and other activity in the community,” Ray Berry, president, and founder of White Lion Brewing Company said.
The Ale is also a way to spread the word about the ceremony returning home to Springfield and with it much-needed foot traffic after more than a year of pandemic economic uncertainty. The enshrinement ceremony is set for September 11 at the MassMutual Center.