The Turning Stone Resort Casino and the International Boxing Hall of Fame have agreed to a long-term partnership that aims to solidify the Central New York region as a premier destination for boxing fans.

International Boxing Hall of Fame

The International Boxing Hall of Fame is hoping a partnership with Turning Stone Resort Casino could give the venue more national exposure. (Image: Ellen M. Blalock/Syracuse.com)

The move is designed to give more national exposure to the Hall of Fame, which has long been considered one of the region’s hidden gems.

It is a natural partnership, as Turning Stone has put on a number of high-level boxing events in its 5,000-seat Events Center, many of which have been televised.

“This really helps us bring some excitement to the Hall of Fame, with some national TV exposure,” said Ed Brophy, Executive Director of the Hall of Fame. “That means more admissions and could lead, eventually, to expansion.”

Turning Stone to Host Induction Weekend Events

For Turning Stone, the deal means that they can become a part of the Hall of Fame’s most popular events. Chief among those is the annual induction weekend in June, which attracts boxing fans to the region every year.

Next year’s ceremonies will include a Friday night boxing card at Turning Stone, and the resort will also host the Banquet of Champions on Saturday night.

“We will be working together to create more excitement around the boxing events we have here, culminating in the Boxing Hall of Fame weekend in June,” said Ray Halbritter, CEO of Turning Stone operator Oneida Nation Enterprises. “This is the Boxing Hall of Fame, the only one in the world…it’s a great relationship.”

The move comes at a time when gaming venues are relying more heavily on non-gaming attractions to generate revenues. On the Las Vegas Strip, non-gaming revenue makes up the majority of total revenue for casino resorts.

Similarly, Turning Stone aims to offer patrons more than just slots and blackjack, with golf courses, concerts, restaurants, and now world class boxing also serving as attractions.

Boxing Hall of Fame Brings Attention to Small Town

For the International Boxing Hall of Fame, the partnership is the culmination of an unlikely success story nearly 30 years in the making.

The small town of Canastota, situated between Syracuse and Utica, may seem an unlikely location for enshrining boxing’s legends. But the town raised funds for the museum in order to honor two world champions who hailed from their village, eventually opening the venue in 1989 and inducting their first class in 1990.

The venue has proven to be a success. The induction weekend brings together legendary champions of the past and current fights every year.

Meanwhile, the museum has enjoyed expansion over the years, and allows fans to explore the history of the sport, with equipment, promotional materials, and even the original boxing ring from Madison Square Garden on display.

The 2018 Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Weekend is scheduled to take place from June 7 to 10, with the actual induction ceremony still taking place in Canastota. Next year’s class of inductees will be announced in December.