August 6, 2016

Phase One of the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium is ready to be unveiled for the 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week celebration held August 4-7, in Canton, Ohio.

Over three days, the venue will be transformed from a sold-out “Concert for Legends” featuring Tim McGraw (August 5) to the stage for the Enshrinement Ceremony for the Class of 2016 – Edward J. DeBartolo, Jr., Tony Dungy, Brett Favre, Kevin Greene, Marvin Harrison, Orlando Pace, Ken Stabler and Dick Stanfel (August 6) to the field for the 2016 NFL/Hall of Fame Game between the Green Bay Packers and the Indianapolis Colts to kick off the NFL’s preseason (August 7).

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How can all of this take place in just 72 hours? It’s due to the first-time design strategy incorporated into the stadium by the HKS Sports & Entertainment Group in conjunction and their clients, Industrial Realty Group, LLC and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Below are key design aspects changing the way the 2016 Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend will take place:

  • First-of-Its-Kind Stage: A permanent stage — embedded into the stadium’s seating bowl — is located at midfield. Typically, a stadium utilizes temporary stage locations at the  end zones or in the center of the field. This unique design allows people to be closer to the stage and have opportunities for interactive experiences.
  • Walkable Connections: The new stadium is designed to provide a direct, convenient connection to the original Pro Football Hall of Fame, built in 1963. In the past, because of a steep difference in grade, patrons, Gold Jacket members, performers and VIPs had to walk around or be driven from the Hall of Fame to the stadium. Today, they can walk from one to the other.
  • Visual Connections: HKS lowered the playing field 12 feet to allow for a visual connection to the Hall of Fame. Before that, views of the iconic building were hidden from fans in the stadium behind the stands. Completion of phase-one construction of the stadium provides a literal, functional and visual connection.

Great care also was taken in designing a new stadium that maintained the history and tradition of the original 1938 stadium, respecting history while infusing the latest in stadium design.

Upon completion of the 2016 Enshrinement Weekend, demolition will begin on the rest of the existing stadium. The new, fully completed venue will open to the public during the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement. The next phase will include premium environments with suites, clubs and club seats; the latest in technology integration; roof terraces; fan concourses and amenities; and NFL standards throughout.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of what is to come. HKS, Inc. is designing and creating an expanded destination environment for the Hall of Fame Village. With the historic Hall as its nucleus and a new stadium to accommodate additional sports and entertainment events, the master plan envisions the site as a national destination and a regional asset that provides local connectivity to the Canton community.

Hall of Fame Village includes eight main components:

  • Hall of Fame Museum
  • Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium
  • Four-Star Hotel & Conference Center
  • Legends Landing (Assisted and independent living facility)
  • National Football & Youth Sports Complex
  • The Center for EXCELLENCE & Performance Center
  • Main Street Hall of Fame (Retail, restaurants, office and residential)
  • Hall of Fame Experience (immersive virtual reality)

HKS, Inc. is one of the top three architectural firms in the United States, according to Building Design+Construction magazine. The 77-year-old firm is known for its dedication to outstanding design and performance. With 24 offices across the globe, HKS has a portfolio of more than 1,700 projects spanning 88 countries. For more information, contact Trish Martineck at

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