Pro Football Hall of Fame Main Entrance in Canton, Ohio 

2121 George Halas Drive NW

Canton, Ohio 44708



Canton, Ohio seems like the most unlikely home for the Pro Football Hall of Fame considering the popularity of today’s game, right? That may be true. But did you know that the NFL was founded in Canton, Ohio in 1920? Did you know that the Canton Bulldogs were once an NFL team? These are two factors that helped the city of Canton land the Pro Football Hall of Fame back in September of 1963.

The city of Canton and its residents lobbied heavily for the Hall of Fame by both donating land and raising almost ½ a million dollars for the building’s construction. That was a lot of money back in the 1960's. The Hall of Fame has slowly grown in square footage over time from its original two room layout. There are currently upwards of 300 former players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (32 of them former Chicago Bears players) and you can browse through the list via the directory link below.

The selection process for the Hall of Fame is a unique one. Front office staff and team owners can be voted in at any time while players and coaches must wait five years after retirement. The selection committee meets just before Super Bowl Sunday to vote and a minimum of four players get elected every year. Fans are even allowed to write to the selection committee which consists of 46 voting members. Like the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, most of the voting members are sports writers. Unlike Major League Baseball players, football players are not voted in as a member of any particular team that they played for.

 Fawcett Stadium at the Pro Football Hall of Fame

New Hall of Famers are officially inducted in early August on the same weekend as the “Hall of Fame Game”. They’re given gold jackets and many of the previously elected Hall of Famers are present for the induction ceremony. The Hall of Fame Game is the first preseason matchup of the season at Fawcett Stadium next door to the museum.  That weekend is often considered the best weekend to visit the Hall of Fame if you want the full experience although the museum stays open year around. Dated Fawcett Stadium is currently undergoing a face-lift as part of a development known as “Hall of Fame Village”. It will also now be known as “Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium”, named after the owner of the New Orleans Saints who donated more than $10 Million to help fund its renovation. Hall of Fame Village will feature new restaurants and retail space, a new hotel and conference center, a learning and training center for officials, a youth sports complex and an area with virtual reality rides for fans. The estimated time of completion is summer 2019 which will commemorate the NFL’s 100th season.

Jersey display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

All tours are self-guided so that fans can browse the exhibits at their own pace. The average tour lasts 3 to 4 hours so don’t arrive late in the day. The exhibits are constantly changing by focusing on a variety of former players and teams. Many fans are shocked to learn that you can rent out the Hall of Fame for private events, weddings, birthday parties, etc. Canton, Ohio is one hour south of Cleveland, Ohio making it within easy driving distance of many major US cities. Fans arriving by plane should fly into either the Akron-Canton Airport or the Cleveland Airport and rent a car. Parking is $10 and can be purchased when buying museum tickets at the link below. If you’re unable to visit the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, the next best thing would be to check out the condensed Hall of Fame traveling exhibits that are on display around the country every year. 



Bars & Restaurants near the Pro Football Hall of Fame




Additional Photos

Football display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio


Football display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio


Football display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.