Inaugural Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic recognised as a ‘slam dunk’ for Tourism Northern Ireland

September 10th, 2018 | NEWS

Following the success of the inaugural Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic hosted by the Sport Changes Life Foundation in 2017, Tourism Northern Ireland has announced their continued support of this unique sporting event as it returns to the SSE Arena Belfast from 30th November – 1st December 2018.

Featuring twice as many competitors – with eight top-tier NCAA collegiate basketball teams travelling from across the United States to take to the court – and one full extra day of nail-biting gameplay, the 2018 Belfast Classic promises to be bigger and better than before, offering more opportunities for attendees to get up close and personal locally with this global sport on the rise.

In its debut year, the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic was attributed to over 6,000 commercial bed nights within and outside Belfast, with over 50% of the spectators at the tournament coming from outside Northern Ireland. This influx of visitors to take in the Tournament highlights the role which world-class sporting events play in drawing international guests to Northern Ireland. And with a benefit of over £1.2m for local businesses in 2017, this year’s Belfast Classic will also include a welcomed injection into the local economy in Belfast and surrounding areas.

Discussing the ongoing support from Tourism Northern Ireland in hosting this globally-important basketball tournament Marc Mulholland, Executive Director, Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic said: “Not only is the Belfast Classic the only basketball tournament authorised by the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) to be played outside of the USA, making it an important event for dedicated basketball fans, it is also a unique addition to the line-up of globally-recognised sporting events hosted against the backdrop of our vibrant capital city of Belfast.”

John McGrillen, Chief Executive at Tourism Northern Ireland added: “Events such as the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic enhance the visitor experience, increase visitor numbers and spend and develop the appeal and profile of Northern Ireland. With extensive global broadcast reach together with opportunities for player endorsement, social media engagement and advertising, this tournament will provide positive world-wide exposure for Northern Ireland.”

Tickets for the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic are available via Ticketmaster starting from £10 with family passes available from £25. This year eager fans can also take advantage of a discounted tournament pass which will offer the chance to take in all eight games for £30.

Carrying on the established tradition of giving back to Northern Ireland’s community, this year’s Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic will continue to raise awareness of the Sport Changes Life Foundation (SCLF)’s dedication to raising aspirations of young people using sporting excellence, academic achievement and personal development with the support of event partners Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). The tournament will also be broadcast live across America, with thousands of fans tuning in to see this world-class sporting event hosted in Northern Ireland’s capital city.

The Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic kindly thanks event partners and sponsors including: Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), The Rory Foundation, Tourism Northern Ireland, Tourism Ireland, Belfast City Council, Velocity Worldwide, official airline partner Aer Lingus, Chaka Travel, medical partners Kingsbridge Private Hospital, Hastings Hotels, and Massive PR for their support in enabling the growth of the 2018 Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic.

For more information on the Belfast Classic or to purchase tickets visit www.belfastbasketballclassic.comor follow the event on, Twitter @BelfastClassic and Instagram @BelfastBasketballClassic


For media enquiries please contact Brittany Breslin( 07786 964 645) or Julie McCabe ( 07801 989 950) at Massive PR.



Notes to Editors

About the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic: The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic presented by Sport Changes Life and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) is back for its second year and has doubled in size, with eight US college men’s basketball teams scheduled to play over three days of gameplay at the SSE Arena Belfast (University at Albany; University at Buffalo; Dartmouth College; LIU Brooklyn; Marist College; University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee; University of San Francisco; and Stephen F. Austin State University. Held in conjunction with the MAAC, Sport Changes Life, Rory McIlroy’s Foundation – the Rory Foundation – Aer Lingus, Belfast City Council, Velocity World Wide and The SSE Arena, Belfast, the Belfast Classic take place from 29th November – 1st December with teams playing in two brackets, Samson and Goliath. The event is powered by Darius, Velocity Worldwide’s customer engagement technology to create an experience like no other for the fans attending the unique event.

About Sport Changes Life Foundation:The primary goal of SCL is to provide an opportunity for raising the aspirations of young people on both sides of the Atlantic so that they can live out their dreams and guide them as sport changes their lives.  Sport Changes Life is a sports foundation built on inspiration, hope and victory and works in disadvantaged communities to help young people find a path to a brighter future with the help of their international student athletes, the Victory Scholars.  In February 2016, SCL formally partnered with The Rory Foundation as both foundations strive together to help change the lives of young people on the island of Ireland and beyond.

About the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference:With 11 institutions strongly bound by the sound principles of quality and integrity in academics and excellence in athletics, the MAAC- is in its 38th year of competition during the 2018 – 2019 academic year.  Current conference members include: Canisius College, Fairfield University, Iona College, Manhattan College, Marist College, Monmouth University, Niagara University, Quinnipiac University, Rider University, St Peter’s University and Siena College.

About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.


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