COVID-19 Protocols Force Venue Change and Hall of Fame Staff Reduction
Springfield, Mass. – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today that the 2020 Enshrinement Ceremony festivities have officially been rescheduled to May 13-15, 2021 due to the continuing impact of the COVID-19 virus. The organization had been hopeful to find a viable date in October 2020 if the pandemic showed signs of subsiding.
The impact of the delay has significant financial ramifications and has resulted in the elimination of several full-time positions and compensation cuts in the 25-40% range for the most senior management as the Hall faces the prospect of declining revenues while the pandemic persists.
“These are people who have been a big part of the Hall’s success in recent years; it hurts deeply,” said John Doleva, President and CEO of the Hall of Fame. “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.”
“For this single event, and only because of the pandemic, we will relocate the entire event one time to Mohegan Sun which has been a long-time marketing partner of the Hall. Mohegan Sun has shown they can effectively operate a ‘near-bubble’ for our event which provides a more secure environment for our guests,” Doleva explained. “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.”
The highly anticipated Class of 2020 includes: 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 and longtime FIBA executive Patrick Baumann.
For further information and the latest news on Enshrinement, follow @hoophall on Twitter or Instagram or visit www.hoophall.com/Enshrinement. As the health and safety of the Hall of Famers, fans and staff is of the utmost importance, the Basketball Hall of Fame will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely in the coming months and provide updates as needed.
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame: Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was born, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting, preserving and celebrating the game of basketball at every level – men and women, amateur and professional players, coaches and contributors, both domestically and internationally. The Hall of Fame museum is home to more than 400 inductees and over 40,000 square feet of basketball history. Nearly 200,000 people visit the Hall of Fame museum each year to learn about the game, experience the interactive exhibits and test their skills on the Jerry Colangelo "Court of Dreams." Best known for its annual marquee Enshrinement Ceremony honoring the game’s elite, the Hall of Fame also operates over 70 high school and collegiate competitions annually throughout the country and abroad. For more information on the Basketball Hall of Fame organization, its museum and events, visit www.hoophall.com, follow @hoophall #20HoopClass or call 1-877-4HOOPLA.