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Monday, December 31, 2012

College Football Hall of Fame to break ground in downtown at end of January

The National College Football Hall of Fame, one of several tourist and cultural attractions proposed near Centennial Olympic Park, will break ground on Jan. 28, elected officials and hospitality boosters said today.

The 94,256-square-foot pigskin museum, which officials want to open by fall 2014, will replace a 2.7-acre parking lot on Marietta Street adjacent to the Georgia World Congress Center. As CL reported in October, the nearly $66.5-million facility is funded mostly with sponsorships, loans, and $15 million in promised state funding.

"The College Football Hall of Fame is part of more than a billion dollars of development coming out of the ground over the next three years," Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau President and CEO William Pate said in a statement. "The new attraction will make Atlanta even more competitive for conventions by offering new, unique venues. An attraction with national draw, coupled with the blockbuster events held in Atlanta, will draw additional visitors, create more revenue and generate more jobs for our residents."

Added Mayor Kasim Reed, per Maria Saporta:

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said the College Football Hall of Fame coupled with the National Center for Civil and Human Rights is helping make the Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park "one of the most vital tourism corridors in the United States."

Reed also alluded to the fact that Atlanta and the state stuck with the project.

"We are glad that the hall decided to make Atlanta home," Reed said. "We got this done. That's what I want Atlanta to be known for - a city that gets things done."

Once complete, the hall of fame could add some much-needed life to the pocket of downtown west of Centennial Olympic Park. There are also plans nearby for a "Time Square South"-style mixed-use proposal by veteran developer Bob Voyles and Legacy Property group which would include video wall that's guaranteed to convince tourists to stop in the middle of the sidewalk and gaze upward for hours.

Thousands of people over the weekend packed the College Football Hall of Fame's existing home in South Bend, Ind., to say goodbye to the museum before it shuts down in anticipation of the move to Atlanta.

After the jump, an aerial view of the future museum's location.


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