Money Woes to Affect O.C. Sports Hall Induction
Financial problems might force the Orange County Sports Hall of Fame to scale down its next induction ceremony, or cancel it.
The Orange County Sports Assn., operator of the hall at Anaheim Stadium, owes between $1.4 million and $1.7 million. Lack of funds forced the sports association to postpone indefinitely the Big Orange Classic college football bowl game.
Don Steele, president of the hall’s board of directors, said the sports association won’t schedule the ceremony unless it can guarantee a profit. That might require corporate sponsorship, which Steele believes is unlikely.
“We just can’t possibly go into [more] debt,” he said. “We hope it won’t be scaled down, but what we do is really going to be controlled by public interest. If we can’t generate enough advance interest, we’ll actually bail on it altogether.”
The board of directors will meet Nov. 16 to select the class and consider planning the ceremony, which would occur in February. Even if the board moves forward, the event, featuring a banquet, won’t rival past years.
Officials had hoped to schedule the ceremony at The Pond, but they can’t afford it. The ceremony would likely be at Anaheim Stadium, where it was last year on Dec. 18.
“The Pond was economically prohibitive, and we can’t be as flamboyant,” Steele said. “We’re trying to do this with a limited budget, so we have to determine where it’s most practical for us.”
Steele said the class’ size is undetermined. For the first time, nominees must commit to attend the ceremony, if scheduled, as a condition of being inducted.
“It’s not good if you induct [someone],” Steele said, “and they don’t show up.”