Page 27 - BusinessWest October 13, 2021
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 Center Court at the Hall has hosted
many types of events, including weddings, and with the recent renovations, the goal is to draw more of these receptions.
nity that we have ahead of us.”
Indeed, the game plan — yes, that’s another
sports term — moving forward is to use all the facilities at the Hall, including a new Kobe Bry- ant exhibit and another new exhibit that enables visitors to virtually become part of TNT’s NBA broadcast crew, to attract a broad array of events.
That list of amenities includes a renovated theater, Center Court with its new 14-by-40-foot screen, the exhibits, catering from Max’s Tavern, and the full package that is now available to busi- nesses, nonprofits, and wedding parties alike.
This is what the leadership team at the Hall had in mind as it blueprinted its renovations — a facility that would be a museum, first and fore-
most, but also a different kind of event venue. “We saw the business develop with the old Hall of Fame, before our renovations,” Doleva said. “And we knew, with the redesign and the
technology we had, that we could expand that business; with this iteration, it’s by design to be a function venue as well as a great sports-history museum.”
Doleva told BusinessWest that bookings have been solid over the past several months, but COVID has forced some event planners to pause and put some gatherings on hold. He mentioned a local healthcare provider that has rescheduled an event planned for this fall as one example.
But, overall, the outlook is positive as event
planners continue their quest for something new and different, even during COVID.
“I see smaller organizations wanting to bring people together, and do it in a different kind of venue that’s uplifting and exciting,” he said. “The Hall of Fame, being all brand-new, is very enter- taining for people.”
That goes for wedding parties, he noted, add- ing that, while the Hall has hosted such recep- tions for years now — his niece was married there well before the renovations — there is now potential to handle more of them.
“You can really be different — it’s a fun envi- ronment,” he noted, adding that wedding parties can be, and often are, introduced in the same manner that NBA players are. “We can alter the lighting and do lots of different things. Rather than just the four walls of an institution, you have a special theme here.”
Net Results
It’s a theme that resonates with sports fans of all ages and especially young people, he went on, circling back to those bar mitzvahs, which the Hall is booking in ever-growing numbers.
“It’s a wonderful place to have a bar mitzvah because it’s sports-oriented, it’s very friendly for the kids, and there’s lots to do,” Doleva noted. “There’s lots of energy.”
That energy is projected to translate into more bookings, more business, and an overall improved game for what has always been part of the business plan at the Hall, but can now be a much bigger player. v
George O’Brien can be reached at [email protected]
Craft Bar • Premium Dispensing • Party & Events 261 King Street • Northampton • 413-889-5323 •
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