SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame hosted a ribbon
cutting ceremony following its $25+ million museum refurbishment which launched in 2017. The museum had been closed to the public for a period of time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but is now fully renovated and open to guests.
“Coming off of a momentous Enshrinement weekend for the Class of 2020, we couldn’t be more excited to reveal our museum renovations in Springfield to the basketball community,” said John Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “This renovation project has been in progress for several years, with a number of local vendors involved, and we’re so proud of the end result. We welcome basketball fans and the people of Springfield to visit us for an experience unlike any other.”
With the efforts of several Massachusetts-based businesses, including architecture and design firm CambridgeSeven, nearly every exhibit in the Hall has taken on a new look and added interactive elements, in addition to the refurbishment of the Hall’s iconic dome.
“I want to express what a thrill it was to partner with the Basketball Hall of Fame team on the inspirational reimagining of the museum,” said Timothy Mansfield, AIA, principal at CambridgeSeven. “Our team and the Hall have enjoyed a long-standing partnership from the design of the original museum to this latest evolution, creating an immersive and highly interactive visitor experience. The new Hall celebrates the amazing game of basketball, uniquely tying thematic narratives from the game’s very beginnings in Springfield in 1891 all the way to the present-day action. We are proud to join in the celebration of the grand re-opening of the Hall!”
The Hall’s new technologically advanced visitor experience includes the following:
• “High Above Center Court” – A brand new exhibit set beneath the iconic dome, High Above Center Court features a series of photo opportunities where guests can “measure up” against cut outs of their favorite players and take a tour through artifacts highlighting key moments in history, such as the “Phenom” exhibit featuring LeBron James or the “Fashion” exhibit featuring Dennis Rodman.
• “Hall of Honor” – The all-new signature exhibit of the Hall of Fame is the Hall of Honor. Enjoy this reverent space while learning through a series of interactive kiosks. With over 24 hours of video content, the experience can become as deep and vast as guests choose.
• “1891 Gallery Presented by MassMutual Foundation” – Experience the time period surrounding the game’s invention by Dr. James Naismith. Learn about the original rules, which notably haven’t changed much! See artifacts such as a piece of the hardwood from the original YMCA and uniforms worn by the first female trailblazers of the game.
• “Players Gallery”– Take a deep dive into players’ signature moves, such as Kareem’s Sky Hook, Ray Allen’s art of shooting the three-point shot or the euro-step which has taken scoring to new heights.
• “James F. Goldstein SuperFan Gallery” – Take a journey through the all new superfan gallery and experience the game through the legendary superfans such as James Goldstein and Nav Bhatia. Explore memorabilia from the amazing collection of late Superfan Penny Marshall.
• “Jerry Colangelo Court of Dreams” – Be sure to shoot baskets on the new Court of Dreams featuring a wowing LED screen that runs highlights of legendary players and moments in basketball history.
The Hall of Fame has proudly partnered with regional contractors on this project which exceeds $25 million, with roughly 85% invested with vendors from Massachusetts and northern Connecticut. These vendors include: CambridgeSeven (Cambridge, MA); Northern Lights Production (Allston, MA); Richard Lewis Media (Watertown, MA); Mystic Scenic Fabrications (Norwood, MA); Western Builders (Granby, MA); Chandler Architectural Products, Inc. (W. Springfield, MA); Kent Brothers Excavating (Southampton, MA); Superior Caulking & Waterproofing, Inc. (Palmer, MA); Collins Electric (Chicopee, MA); Managed Air Systems LLC (Aircraft Grade Paint Refinisher, Bloomfield, CT); Healey & Associates (Belchertown, MA); and Project Management by Colebrook Realty Services (Springfield & Holyoke, MA). Additional Vendors were EOS Light Media (Vacouver, BC); Design & Production, Inc. (Lorton, VA); and Ntension Corporation (Hermon, ME.)
As the health and safety of guests is of the utmost importance, a number of protocols have been enacted. The full list of implemented protocols can be found at hoophall.com/covid-19, including:
• An elevated sanitation and cleaning protocol, including hourly sanitizing of all frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, handles, and elevator buttons
• Hand sanitizer stands spread throughout the museum floors
• Complimentary disposable face masks for all guests
• Designated foot traffic patterns to facilitate social distancing
• Complimentary stylus devices to use on all touch screen applications throughout the museum
• Sanitization of every basketball following guest use The Hall of Fame is now accepting group ticket reservations, meetings and events.
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.