"You know, I've spent 30 years living and reporting on college football in Atlanta," comments Tony Barnhart, well-known college football journalist. "So, trust me when I say it's a very special day for college football and the city of Atlanta with the addition of the College Football Hall of Fame."
Opening this Saturday, the date wasn't chosen randomly for the Marietta Street facility
. According to John Stephenson, Jr., president and CEO, Atlanta Hall Management, it was circled in January 2013 because August 23 marked the weekend before the 2014 college football season started.
"We had to be opened by then, no question about it."
Formerly located in South Bend, Ind., Georgia governor Nathan Deal says there isn't a better place for the College Football Hall of Fame than in Atlanta.
"We are right in the heart of football country."
Adjacent to the World Congress Center, next to Centennial Olympic Park and near the Georgia Done, the over 94,000-square foot venue stands out with its quality of artifacts and interactive exhibits.
begins the moment after guests register their pass. The pass provides vi
sitors the opportunity to customize their visit.
Exploring the three-story building begins at The Quad
with its Helmet Wall, a display representing over 760 college football teams. Also on the first level is The Playing Field
, complete with an entry tunnel that features a 45-yard replica football field allowing visitors to test their talents at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Skill Zone.
On the second floor, is the 150-seat Game Day Theater
that shows a 10-minute film, "The Game of Your Life." Also found on the second floor is the Chick-fil-A Why We Love College Football
interactive media wall, where guests can use their pass to focus in on their
team. Some of the other exhibits include a Coca-Cola Fan's Game Day
that looks at fans' experiences, and the Kia Building a Champion
exhibit, which provides an in-depth view of what it takes to be a student-athlete, as well as a coach.
The third floor is the Hall of Fame
, detailing the stories and achievements of the players who stood out among their peers in football.
"The Hall of Fame represents a lot," comments Steve Hatchell, president and CEO, National Football Foundation. "It's not just a new building. It's a national platform to highlight the heroes of the game
and provide inspiration to future generations."
When asked why people should visit, former Florida quarterback and Hall of Fame inductee, DannyWuerfell says, "It's amazing and fun. It's like history and tradition meets technology dazzlement. It appeals to people of all ages."
Open Sunday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m, and Saturday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., the College Football Hall of Fame ticket prices are $19.99/adult, $16.99/child, age 3 - 12 (under 3 are free), and $17.99/senior (age 65 and older), military and student (must be purchased at the box office)
Join the “Ultimate Tailgate” this Saturday as the College Football Hall of Fame celebrates its grand opening. From 9 a.m. - noon, festivities include a visit from the ESPN College GameDay bus, a free kids’ football clinic hosted by Kids and Pros, a live broadcast from 680 The Fan, children’s activities, and much, much more. Purchase tickets at cfbhall.com/tickets
photos: College Football Hall of Fame and exhibits; bottom right photo: Tracy Ham, former Georgia Southern QB and Hall of Fame inductee with Wuerfell, trying out the interactive kiosk inside the Hall of Fame