Fighting for a ‘Knockout’ Hall of Fame Weekend
The Turning Stone Resort Casino Event Center will be the center of the boxing universe this weekend, between Friday night fights, the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF) banquet Saturday, and the IBHOF induction ceremony Sunday afternoon.
An extensive team of employees from several different departments will work to make sure all the transitions go smoothly.
One of the people behind the scenes: Services Operations Manager Sarah Forth. Sarah said she sees the back-to-back-to-back-to-back events as the biggest work challenge of her year—a challenge she’s ready to accept.
“It definitely is going to be exciting,” she said. “We’ve waited three years for it to happen.”
Going into IBHOF weekend, Sarah will focus on set-up, coordinating teams to tackle carpet installation in the Event Center, set up the stage, choreograph the production for the opening press event, and more.
Then, over the course of the weekend, Sarah will coordinate three main room flips: one from the press conference to the ring for fight night, a second from the ring for fight night to the gala setup, and the last from the gala setup to the induction setup.
She noted that all three of these flips will happen overnight, and that each conversion will involve literally dozens of people.
“I’ve had years of practice doing this sort of thing so at this point it’s pretty easy to stay calm,” she said. “I know I’m working with the best people in the business. I truly believe there is nothing the teams here at Turning Stone can’t handle. To be honest, I find this exciting, and I missed this excitement when everything was shut down during Covid.”
Sarah herself has some extra responsibilities over the weekend. Because she grew up in Canastota, because she’s been involved with the International Boxing Hall of Fame since she was in high school.
“It’s a puzzle for sure, but that’s why I like doing this—because I like solving puzzles,” said Sarah, who started working for the Oneida Indian Nation in 2011. “When the event is over, nobody is going to be focusing on how we solved this or how we managed that. People are just going to be talking about how much fun it all was. That’s the most important thing to me. I just want to put on a good show.”