‘It’s warming up;’ Days away from Pro Football Hall of Fame game and Enshrinement weekend in Canton

Sports

CANTON, Ohio (WJW) — It doesn’t get any bigger than this for Stark County and the Pro Football Hall of Fame, we’re just days away from the Hall of Fame game and Enshrinement weekend. 

“It’s warming up, it will get even crazier once we hit Wednesday and Thursday, around 20,000 people coming in for the game,” said Rich Desrosiers, VP of Communications and Public Relations. 

Crews were busy Monday putting the finishing touches on the main stage for Enshrinement weekend.  It’s a two-for-one weekend as both the Class of 2020 and 2021 will be enshrined after COVID-19 canceled last year’s festivities. 

“Many of the members of the Centennial Class waited decades or their families did to see them enshrined and they had to wait another year, so they are definitely eager to get in,” Desrosiers said.

Enshrinement week 2021 will certainly look a lot different than it did in 2019, most notably, Hall of Fame Village is starting to take shape.

“We have a great new video board in our east end zone and also in our east end zone we have this nice entertainment plaza, it’s right close to the field and it’s a great place to hang out during the games,” said Mike Levy, President of Operations, Hall of Fame Village.

In the west end zone, the Center for Excellence building, in its final stages of construction, will include a 50foot-by-90-foot video board wall.  

Next year, the retail strip of the Hall of Fame Village should be completed and operational. 

“Well, it’s going to come in phases, and the next phase you’ll see will be our retail area, our sports field, our center for performance and eventually you’ll see our new Hilton Hotel and our indoor football-themed waterpark is about two and a half years away,” Levy said. 

For now, the focus remains on this week, a celebration unlike any other and time is running out. 

“There is a lot of excitement around here,” said Mark Mitchell from Altoona, PA.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys will officially kick off the 2021 football season with preseason game number one of the year on Thursday night and you can catch all the action right here on FOX8.

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