CANTON, Ohio (WJW) – Years after it was first envisioned and just weeks after the threat of losing one of its largest sponsors, phase two of the Hall of Fame Village Resort is rapidly rising from the ground.
Construction work is underway on multiple buildings and attractions, including a fan engagement zone which will include restaurants, retail and more.
“So think very unique retail, restaurant, entertainment opportunities for our guests, for those who are here for tournament play for our community and the region, quite frankly. A Don Shula’s restaurant will be part of that Build-a-Bear concept, Top Golf Swing Suites, a Brew Kettle. We have got a who lot of concepts ,” said Anne Graffice, vice president of public affairs for the Hall of Fame Resort and Entertainment Company.
Envisioned on the property will ultimately be a sports betting lounge and sports-themed bars.
The four-story, 75,000 square foot Constellation Center for Excellence, which is nearing completion, will be a mixed-use office building with tenants already confirmed.
Next door, the Tom Benson Stadium, which was part of phase one, will become the home field for the Ohio Force, an inaugural team for Major League Football.
The property will also be the new home for the Ferris wheel that was inside Cleveland’s I-X Center along with a zip line, water features and an outdoor ampitheater.
Construction is also underway for the nearby Center for Performance.
“It’s an inflatable dome, so its 100,000 square feet of flat floor space… All the things we are doing on our youth fields outside, we are now going to be able to do that inside. Wrestling, volleyball, dance,” said Graffice.
The eight-story high structure will be as high as the stadium and easily visible from I-77, according to Graffice.
Phase two also adds to more outdoor football fields near McKinley High School, adding to the six fields that were built during phase one and have already been attracting more than 300,000 youth football players from around the country and their parents to the Canton area.
Also under construction, a new entrance to the village and the Hall of Fame museum with all of the attractions easily accessible by foot on the property.
Phase two is expected to be substantially completed in time for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival in August and will then be followed by a phase 3, which Graffice defines as, “more of the same.”
“What we have done is exactly what you have shared, giving folks a reason to stay for more than a couple hours that they would have been in the museum. We now have afforded them the opportunity to be entertained to dine to be with us for a longer period of time and really to be engaged and immersed in football a lot of different ways,” said Graffice.
The development is continuing rapidly just weeks after the threatened loss of support from Johnson Controls, one of the major sponsors for the Hall of Fame Village.
“What we are doing now are things that we know we can do. They are financeable, the time frames make sense when we share them. We know that we are actively already moving toward, getting them up out of the ground,” said Graffice.