Friday, October 12, 2012

National Football Foundation green lights College Football HOF, set to open in 2014

Posted By on Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 2:19 PM

  • Atlanta Hall Managment
After several years of delays, it looks like the College Football Hall of Fame will finally be built in downtown Atlanta — with plans to open in late 2014.

Steve Hatchell, the National Football Foundation's president and CEO, told the AJC that "all systems are go" after hearing reports from the Atlanta Hall Management — the local non-profit group responsible for constructing and maintaining the Hall of Fame once it opens.

John Stephenson, Atlanta Hall Management's interim CEO, informed the NFF board on Wednesday that the group has signed contracts for $51.5 million in sponsorships and has arranged $22.5 million in loans — on top of $15 million promised in state funding. Projected costs for the new Hall of Fame are estimated at $66.9 million.

“They’ve been waiting very patiently to hear the news we got to deliver to them," Stephenson told the AJC regarding the board meeting, "that the project is green-lighted.”

In 2009, the National Football Foundation decided to leave South Bend, Ind. — the Hall of Fame's current location — with hopes of constructing a new shrine in downtown Atlanta.

As CL previously reported, the College Football Hall of Fame will be built on a 2.7-acre plot diagonal from Centennial Olympic Park just off Marietta Street, replacing a state-owned Georgia World Congress Center parking lot.

The College Football Hall of Fame, along with the new Center for Civil and Human Rights, stands as the latest addition to downtown Atlanta's ever-growing list of tourist attractions. According to a NFF press release, the foundation has granted a 30-year license to Atlanta Hall Management — meaning that if all goes according to plan, the museum could be here for the long haul.

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