What's New? Pro Football Hall of Fame updates
Get ready for the Pro Football HOF's major overhaul
By Brandon Lucas
The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton is undergoing major renovations that will revolutionize the Hall of Fame experience.
Upon arrival at the Pro Football HOF, you'll be welcomed by the new Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village, which will feature nine unique attractions once complete. The $600 million worth of additions will bring an estimated 13,000 new jobs and will generate 15.3 billion over a 25-year period to Stark County, according to the city of Canton. Along with the nine attractions, the Village will be a “Smart City” with an eco-friendly campus and virtual reality technology.
Hall of Fame Museum
Watch your childhood heroes and NFL legends come “alive” in the museum’s new holographic theater. The theater was the Village’s first attraction to open and is designed to look like a Hall of Famer's NFL locker room. It features a special showing of “A Game for Life,” which displays NFL legends such as Joe Namath and George Halas. The players guide guests on a trip about the values football instills in people and how these values apply to life after the game.
Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium
A great sport needs a beautiful home and that is what the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium is going to provide. The stadium is undergoing much-needed improvements to help elevate the fan experience. New additions include blue theater-style benches (some can accommodate NFL-sized adults), synthetic turf, and a 105-feet-wide performance stage.
In 2017 and 2018, Benson Stadium will host the Ohio high school football championship games. During 2020 and 2021, it will host the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl for the NCAA Division III football championship games. Not only is the stadium going to host football events, but it will also accommodate lacrosse, soccer and, because of the new stage, concerts.
National Football and Youth Sports Complex
What’s better than one football field? Eight football fields. The Village has three fields completed already: two state-of-the-art turf fields and one championship field. With the five additional fields, the Village will be able to host local camps, training programs and large-scale tournaments. The fields will be able to handle a variety of sports including lacrosse, soccer and football. All eight fields are looking to be completed by spring of 2018.
Four-Star Hotel and Conference Center
If you live and dream football, this hotel is right up your alley. As you walk into the lobby, check out the 50-foot ceiling covered in everything related to the game. See what it feels like to be a defensive lineman by sitting in one of the NFL-sized chairs in the lobby. Spend a night in a room surrounded by your favorite team’s colors and images of Hall of Fame legends. Wake up the next day and enjoy your business meeting in the 25,000 square-foot conference center right next to the hotel. You'll get the chance to see it all in 2019.
Main Street Hall of Fame Village/Retail
This 150,000-square-foot space will be bustling with life. Guests and football fans will have a selection of retail stores and restaurants (one is dubbed the “world’s greatest sports bar”) as well as office space and residential support. Completion is scheduled for 2019.
The Center for EXCELLENCE
The Pro Football Hall of Fame has five main values: commitment, integrity, courage, respect and excellence. These five values are all exemplified in the Village’s Center for Excellence. Here, players, coaches and those who simply love the game can further their knowledge of football. Consider attending a Coaches University, Academy of Corporate Excellence, or Officiating Clinics. Research and studies on concussions will also take place due to a partnership with Aultman Health Foundation. Completion is scheduled for 2019.
Die-hard football fans may enjoy cheering in freezing temperatures, but not everyone can. The Hall of Fame saw a solution to this by including the new Performance Center. This addition will house an indoor 100-yard football field. When football season is over, the Performance Center may be used as a basketball arena or a convention space for businesses to use. Completion is scheduled for 2020.
Player Care Center
Hall of Fame players, coaches, officials and administrators can retire in style at the Legends Landing independent and assisted living senior care facility. This football-themed assistant living is designed for the professionals of the sport to relax in peace and among other legends. The Player Care Center will also provide a wide range of health services to players who need it. Completion is scheduled for 2020.
Johnston Controls Hall of Fame Experience
Every fan's dream is to play in an NFL game. With the Johnston Controls Hall of Fame Experience, fans will be able to do just that (well, almost). Utilizing interactive and virtual reality, fans will be placed in an actual game to see what it’s truly like being on the field and hearing the roaring sound of the stadium cheering you on. After “being on the field,” guests can head on over and take a swim in the football-themed waterpark. Completion is scheduled for 2020.
As construction nears completion, the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be looking to celebrate its Centennial celebration on September 17, 2020. With all nine of its new components scheduled to be finished, you'll get a chance to celebrate in style.