CANTON – Workers move dirt, install utilities and prepare the ground for the next big parts of the Hall of Fame Village.
A 180-room Tapestry by Hilton hotel will be located on George Halas Drive NW, south of Fulton Road. The hotel will be connected to an 85,000-square-foot football-themed water park.
Two more buildings – a total of 82,000 square meters – will be built south of the hotel and lead to the Constellation Center for Excellence in an area known as the shopping promenade.
Work on these buildings, which will house Don Shula’s Restaurant and Topgolf Swing Suites and other shops, is expected to begin before the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the crews have completed a spectator seat and scoreboard at the east end of the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, while construction continues on the 75,000-square-foot Constellation building at the west end of the stadium.
HOF Village phase two
The buildings are part of the $ 300 million second phase of the project known as the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village. Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Co. leads development, referred to as Destination, which is one of the company’s three divisions.
Work on the first phase took place before the Hall of Fame Resort was involved in the project. Development included the construction of the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium and several youth fields south of McKinley High School.
All construction is ongoing on the grounds around the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the stadium and the high school.
The construction of three further youth sports fields is planned to be added to the five already built and used fields. The second phase also included the renovation of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in downtown Canton.
New buildings, streets
The major construction will take place north and west of the Hall of Fame and the stadium.
Anne Graffice, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs for the Hall of Fame Resort, said most of the current work involves preparing the website. This includes installing sewers, water pipes and other utilities, as well as rebuilding and aligning some roads.
These projects will be on hiatus this week so as not to disrupt the 2020 and 2021 Hall of Fame Class Inauguration celebrations.
“They’re trying to button things up before the inauguration,” said Bill Sherer II. As business manager for Ironworkers Local 550, vice president of the East Central Ohio Building & Construction Trades Council, and president of Canton City Council, Sherer has mixed insights into the project.
“I am very confident that things will move forward with the Hall of Fame Village,” he said.
Supply chain, shipping delays
Steel has been ordered for the new buildings, but delivery bottlenecks have delayed delivery.
“We’re doing as much as we can,” said Graffice.
Work on the Constellation Center for Excellence began last fall. The building should be ready for occupancy by October.
Last week the crews began installing a mesh video display that will cover part of the building across from the stadium. It is possible that the system will be ready for the Hall of Fame Inauguration celebrations.
“We are confident that it is ready to use,” said Graffice.
Delays related to the coronavirus pandemic slowed the video ad’s arrival in Canton, Graffice said. The equipment was shipped from Asia to the USA. A labor shortage delayed the equipment being unloaded from a ship in California and then helped move it across the country.
East end zone finished
The work in the stadium has been completed, said Graffice. The crews have installed a scoreboard and other equipment at the east end, where a lookout point has been created.
This is a change from previous designs that anticipated traditional seating.
The space resembles seats added to Progressive Field in Cleveland and other stadiums around the country. It’s big enough to hold 1,300 people but will likely be limited to around 750 people, Graffice said.
Food and drinks are served in the area and it is open enough for food trucks to be brought in.
Special tickets are required for the space, Graffice said. Hall of Fame Resort provides for companies and organizations that may reserve space or purchase ticket packages for various events.
Graffice said the place is versatile, interactive and offers a different experience for attendees and the event. The company expects it to be engaging and exciting, she said.
Recent development plans provide that work on the second phase of the Hall of Fame Village should be completed by 2023. This would be followed by a third phase that could bring the overall project to nearly $ 1 billion.
“We’re all working really hard to make it a reality,” said Graffice.