Construction began Monday on the new College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta.
ATLANTA (AP) - Construction began Monday on the new College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta.
The 94,256-square-foot hall is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014 in Centennial Olympic Park.
“Not only will the Hall provide a one-of-a-kind experience for college football fans, but it will be a great complement to all that Atlanta has to offer its residents and visitors,” College Football Hall of Fame interim president and CEO John Stephenson said in a news release.
The National Football Foundation, which runs the Hall of Fame, announced the date for the groundbreaking in December. Aside from numerous exhibits, the facility will feature a theater, meeting and event spaces, and areas for children’s activities.
The new $66.5 million site in Centennial Olympic Park is near the Georgia Dome, the World Congress Center and other downtown Atlanta attractions. The College Football Hall of Fame was located in South Bend, Ind., near the campus of Notre Dame, for 17 years. It closed last year.
The NFF announced three years ago that the hall was moving from Indiana, but fundraising issues forced several delays in the project.
Despite original estimates that the South Bend location would attract more than 150,000 visitors a year, the Hall of Fame drew about 115,000 people the first year after its opening day of August 25, 1995, and about 80,000 annually after that. As a result, in September 2009, the Hall of Fame announced it would be moving to Atlanta. The possibility of moving the museum has been brought up in other cities, including Dallas, which had the financial backing of billionaire T. Boone Pickens.
Organizers expect the new site to generate $11.8 million in annual retail and ticket sales.