Michigan Sports Hall of Fame Needs Permanent Home for Visitors


Earlier this month, the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame inducted six new members to its establishment. Attendees of the dinner and benefit got to witness these legendary Michigan athletes accept their plaques and become a member of the oldest state sports Hall of Fame in the world. There’s one big problem though: there is no permanent home for the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame. This means anyone who wasn’t in attendance that night doesn’t get to see the plaques or celebrate the player’s legacies.

The 2015 Michigan Sports Hall of Fame class was:

  • Aleta Still: nation’s first female bowler to reach $1 million. Only female triple crown winner in the sport.
  • Barry Larkin: played baseball for University of Michigan and Cincinnati Reds. Won three Gold Gloves, 9 Silver Slugger awards, and was once the MVP.
  • Doug English: defensive tackle for the Detroit Lions from 1975 to 1985. Was a member of the “Silver Rush”. Was named All-Pro three times and made four Pro Bowl rosters.
  • Tom Izzo: has coached Michigan State’s basketball team for 19 seasons. He has taken Michigan State to two National Championship games and six Final Fours.
  • Sheila Tormina: gold medal winner in Olympics. First woman to compete in three sports at Olympics (swimming, triathlon, pentathlon). Competed in the Olympics in 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008.
  • Sergei Fedorov: was a member of the Detroit Red Wings and several other NHL teams. Won the Stanley Cup with the Wings three times. Played in more than 1200 NHL games and scored 483 goals.

This list is an amazing one and showcases the great talent to come from our state. It could have actually been better and more publicized with Derek Jeter and Mike Modano also at one point a part of the 2015 class. Modano had prior engagements and will be inducted in 2016. Jeter had problems with travel and missed the ceremony.

This was likely a disappointment for many attendees, but also showcases how strong already the 2016 induction ceremony will be. Jeter and Modano will likely join others and become the newest members of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.

This is exactly why Michigan needs to find a home for the plaques and showcase the talent in Michigan. The plaques previously were at the Cobo Center, before a renovation left the plaques homeless. Michigan really needs to figure this out, as these athletes are getting inducted into a homeless collection of plaques that could end up in a box.

Perhaps the new Red Wings arena, to open in 2017, could set aside some space for a Michigan Sports Hall of Fame. After all, the new arena will be located in close proximity to Ford Field and Comerica Park, putting three of the four professional sports teams in the state within close distance. Or perhaps one of the billionaires spending money on real estate in Detroit should donate some space to host the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.

The induction ceremony took place at the MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit. The event has been held there for several years now. VIP tickets normally sell out. Adult individual attendance, which includes the dinner runs $125. General admission for the ceremony only runs $20.

As someone who has personally been to the Baseball Hall of Fame, Football Hall of Fame, Hockey Hall of Fame, and Racing Hall of Fame, I have to say I would love to go to a permanent Michigan Sports Hall of Fame. These athletes getting enshrined into the Hall of Fame deserve better. Michigan residents also deserve a permanent place where they can go relive the moments and memories of their favorite athletes. Perhaps the next time I write about the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, it will be to tell you their new home and hours of operation.