Work begins on College Football HOF

ATLANTA — 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.

Organizers expect the new site to generate $11.8 million in annual retail and ticket sales.