One of the highlights of the 118,000-square-foot museum is the Hall of Fame Gallery, which houses the bronze busts of each inductee. Visitors can learn about each member of the Hall through touchscreen kiosks that display bios, photos and videos.
My District: Is Home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame
By Ben Mathios | Aug. 29, 2022 | State Legislatures News | Print
Canton, Ohio: where the story of professional football began. A century ago, the owners of 11 football franchises met in Canton to form the American Professional Football Association, which later became the National Football League. The city was home to the Bulldogs, a juggernaut of the Ohio League, and its star, Jim Thorpe, football’s first big-name player.
Although the Bulldogs are no longer around, Canton never lost its love for the game. In 1961, city residents raised $400,000 to construct the first building of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Since opening its doors on Sept. 7, 1963, the Hall has welcomed more than 10 million fans from across the nation and around the world and has become the most selective hall of fame in all of sports, with only 1.1% of the game’s players enshrined there.
Today, the Hall is growing at a rapid pace with tons to see. Along with the bronze busts of the 362 Hall of Famers, fans can see the Lamar Hunt Super Bowl Gallery, featuring the Vince Lombardi Trophy, or enjoy an immersive experience in the “A Game for Life” theater.
NCSL caught up with Rep. Thomas West (D), whose district includes the Hall of Fame, to talk about what the institution means to his community.
How often do you visit the Hall of Fame?
I visit the Hall of Fame regularly. I go to participate in community events, to attend receptions and to spend quality time with my family! Through attending the Hall regularly, I’ve developed a deep appreciation for the partnership between the Hall and our city leaders.
What’s your favorite attraction at the Hall?
It’s the pre-game experience, an event filled with exciting music, great food and a lot of fun! Additionally, it makes me very happy to see past and present players engaging with fans.
What do events like the annual induction ceremony and the Hall of Fame Game mean to you and your community?
These events mean the world to me and my community; we take a lot of pride in these ceremonies and value their historical significance.
What else is great about your district?
There are a lot of great things about Ohio’s 49th House District, but the best thing is our sense of community. Our district is filled with townships and cities that work together to strengthen Stark County as a whole. A specific example of this synergy is the Enrichment Program, which gives children the opportunity to learn and grow through exposure to the arts.
Ben Mathios interned with NCSL. The interview was edited for length and clarity.
“My District” gives NCSL members a chance to talk about life in the places they represent, from high-profile events to the fun facts only the locals know.