(July 23, 2015)
I had the opportunity to visit the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame this past week. I had never been to Canton, Ohio or the site where they’ll be a lot of press coverage for the 8 August 2015 Induction Ceremony when 8 new members are enshrined to immortality in this sleepy village 60 miles south of Cleveland.
We parked our car around noon and I first noted how parking fees are on the honor system. Parking your car there is $10 plus $24 (each) to enter. $58 for two and they make it very difficult to say No to the picture package they offer at the end of the tour … expect to spend around $100 for your visit to the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Upon entering the museum, a tribute to Football’s all time greats, a short 5 minute video describes the reasons Canton was selected for the Hall of Fame and our friendly greeter Bess was quick to point out the numerous expansions the facility has undergone since opening in 1963 at a mere 19,000 square feet to its current size of 118,000 square feet. You wind your way through excellent static displays depicting the history of the NFL by decades then venture upstairs to the gallery and theatre where we watched an excellent recap of the 2015 season, with really excellent sound … NFL films did well with this production we watched in the new theatre completed in 2013.
2015 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
This year’s ceremony will take place the weekend of August 7th, culminated by the NFLs first preseason game, The Hall of Fame Game between Minnesota and Pittsburgh on Sunday, August 9, at 8pm EST. Canton will have 8 new members, including Jerome Bettis … fantasy football and the Hall of Fame merging time frames is going to make this an even more popular destination in the future and Canton and the NFL are ready.
Our guide in life, Bess, informed us the ground-breaking later this year on a $250 million dollar upgrade … hotel, conference center, stadium renovation … a true sports entertainment complex. It’s nice to see the NFL using the massive revenue increase the past 10 years to make this kind of investment in their Hall of Fame. There’s no doubt the landscape of the 2020 NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony will look far different to the camera’s eye.
2015 will also have a posthumous induction … defensive great Junior Seau, elected in his first year of eligibility … The NFLs posthumous induction policy is under scrutiny and in the news because Seau committed suicide in 2012 and suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The National Institute of Health (NIH) is pioneering research into CTE and concussion policies have changed at every level of the game (the existence of policies is the change) while impacting the game’s image … violent …. violent on the human body … the way the game is played … violent human collisions.
Tim Brown will be inducted. Star College Football Players from the mid/late 1980s are entering the hall of fame. Bettis played for the Los Angeles Rams. The explosion in popularity of the NFL in recent years … the rise of fantasy football …. revenues surpassing $7Billion … $250 Million renovation of the Hall of Fame itself … this league is expanding … and soon.
You think the joint LA stadium is really for the Chargers and Raiders? The venue is Los Angeles Stadium and will support 2 new teams to the league.
Expansion is tricky, 8 divisions with 4 teams each … adding 2 teams, 1 to each conference creates imbalance. London. Toronto. 4 teams doesn’t solve the imbalance, restructuring the divisions will be required …. Six total conferences with six teams each …
This league is going to expand, there’s too much money being made … the global popularity warrants expansion, I met a 20 year old Brazilian college student who liked Drew Brees and New Orleans … An American Football Rules league in Germany … European players …
Expansion is something rarely discussed in mainstream media. Because the owners know better than to discuss until the deal is done … 4 new teams, 2 in Los Angeles, 1 in Toronto and 1 in London … revenue sharing to make sure Buffalo and Oakland get new stadiums … New Conferences and 10 conference games is realistic. 6 games against the field, attempting to honor historical rivalries while creating new ones … expanded playoffs, 16 teams, seeded 1 through 8 with conference championship games at a neutral location with priority on the newer venues.
Evidence. Los Angeles is building a new stadium for the NFL and the Chargers think it’s for them?
NFL Lore and Billion Dollar Stadiums
The museum’s static displays feature some of the more memorable plays in NFL History. This catch at Candlestick Point in 1982 lives forever in the California Bay Area but not the actual Location of the The Catch. “Multi Purpose Stadiums”, the cookie cutter stadium building of the 1970s, passing the torch to projects like Los Angeles Stadium. Levi’s Stadium, in Santa Clara, CA, opened its doors in 2014 at the cost of over a billion dollars and it’s is the beginning of a new trend in the NFL … the billion dollar NFL Stadium, the NFLs billion dollar gamble. Minnesota opens its doors in 2016, Atlanta in 2017 … San Diego and St. Louis unveiling their plans recently to build $1.5 billion dollar NFL venues with help from the NFL on the cost. Buffalo will have their situation handled officially in 2016.
Miami will get a new stadium. Jacksonville will get a new stadium. And this league is getting 4 new teams.
My visit to the Pro Football Hall of Fame with official press credentials. #Legitimate