Located in the city better known to sports fans as “The Birthplace of Basketball,” the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has an obvious home court advantage when it comes to hosting slam-dunk events in Springfield, Massachusetts.
The Hall of Fame was established in 1959 and officially opened in 1968, just a midrange jump shot from the site where physical education coach James Naismith first tacked a basket to a 10-foot-high gymnasium balcony inside the YMCA International Training School and challenged his class of 18 students to sink a ball in the bin. The date was December 21, 1891, and in no less than three years, Naismith’s sport spread from its humble Springfield roots to courts in China, India and beyond.
The Hall of Fame has grown as a byproduct of the sport over the years, expanding as quickly as the sport gained popularity. Today, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame occupies more than 80,000 square feet and has become a shrine to basketball’s history, with more than 300 inductees giving life to the interactive exhibits, events, clinics, shooting contests and more that take place within the hallowed halls.
“The Hall of Fame offers the amazing story of how the game first started and how it has developed to being a worldwide sport,” said Josh Belliveau, event sales manager for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “To see the timeline and to stand on Center Court and look up in the dome to see the great players that have been inducted into the Hall of Fame makes it a special experience.”
The building itself is impressive as one of the most distinctive monuments along the Springfield skyline, but it’s what takes place inside the walls that offers exciting opportunities for event planners. From receptions and banquets to corporate team-building exercises and business meetings, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame gets event attendees of all types off the sidelines and into the action.
Meetings are on point at the Hall of Fame, with a staff trained to execute a perfect game for anywhere from 50 to 1,000 guests. With more than 80,000 square feet of flexible function space, along with a history of hosting award dinners, global business meetings, private socials and internationally televised ceremonies, the sky is the limit for throwing a memorable bash. Four rooms are available for rent inside the Hall of Fame, including the Center Court, for 1000-plus guests; the Theatre for up to 200 guests; the Special Exhibit Gallery Room, for up to 250 guests, which features the court floor from the Delta Center on which Michael Jordan took his famous last-minute game-winning shot in 1998; and the Hall of Fame Boardroom, for up to 50 guests.