The Basketball Hall of Fame is a great stop for sports enthusiasts who are on a vacation in Massachusetts. The Hall of Fame in Springfield offers the opportunity to learn about the history of the game and the athletes who have played a significant role in the sport throughout the years, and to see plenty of basketball memorabilia.
The full name of the facility, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, is in honor of the game's inventor. On December 21, 1891, physical education coach James Naismith first introduced the game in the city of Springfield during a physical education class at the YMCA. Naismith went on to develop his own basketball legacy, which included founding the powerhouse program at the University of Kansas. The Basketball Hall of Fame was established in 1959, and the NBA Hall of Fame had the grand opening for its first public facility in 1968, on the grounds of Springfield College. The first female players were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985.
The purpose of the Basketball Hall of Fame is to honor those who have made an outstanding contribution to the game. As of 2009, 293 individuals, including players, coaches, referees, and an announcer, have been inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame. The 40,000 square feet of museum space include interactive exhibits, as well as skill challenges, shooting contests, and live basketball clinics, all of which make this a great destination for families traveling with children. The annual ceremony to enshrine new inductees is open to the public, and it's possible to buy tickets through the Hall of Fame itself.
There are no scheduled Basketball Hall of Fame tours, which leaves guests to peruse the museum at their own pace. Tickets are reasonably priced, and season passes and multi-day tickets are available for anyone planning to make repeat visits. It's even possible to host children's birthday parties, and packages are available that include food from local restaurants such as Subway, Cold Stone Creamery, and Pazzo Ristorante. The on-site gift shop also allows you to purchase your own souvenirs or to bring back gifts for family members from the Hall of Fame in Springfield.
The Basketball Hall of Fame is convenient to Hartford Connecticut, Boston, and New York City, and Springfield and the surrounding area has a wide selection of hotels, which makes this sports mecca the perfect destination for a weekend adventure. Hotels in Springfield include the Hampton Inn, Clarion, Marriott, and Hilton, and several are within walking distance of the facility. Air travel is also convenient for visitors planning a trip to the Hall of Fame in Springfield, as the museum is near the Bradley International Airport and a reasonable drive from Logan International in Boston. The NBA Hall of Fame is open Sunday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm, and Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm.