The College Football Hall of Fame is on its way to Atlanta and representatives announced Monday the project will break ground January 28, 2013.
The Hall will not be open in 2013 and has plans for a fall 2014 opening. In addition to the Hall of Fame, Atlanta will open nine family-friendly attractions in nine years, in a move designed to further cement the city as a major hub for leisure and conventions.
"The College Football Hall of Fame is part of more than a billion dollars of development coming out of the ground over the next three years. The new attraction will make Atlanta even more competitive for conventions by offering new, unique venues," said William Pate, President & CEO, Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau. "An attraction with national draw, coupled with the blockbuster events held in Atlanta, will draw additional visitors, create more revenue and generate more jobs for our residents."
Over the next three years more than $1.4 billion in development is slated for Atlanta, according to Atlanta Convention and Visitors bureau representatives.
The Hall of Fame is making its way to Atlanta from South Bend, Ind., where it had resided since the mid 1990s after moving from its original home in Canton, Ohio. The building in South Bend closed for good on Sunday.
The decision to move the Hall of Fame to Atlanta was made three years ago, but funding issues will keep the Hall dark until it re-opens in 2014.
It was a less-than-successful run for the Hall of Fame in South Bend. It was expected to be a tourist boon for the small Indiana town, home of Notre Dame University, however, it drew only 115,000 visitors in its first year and an average of 60,000 people per year after that.
Representatives in Atlanta expect it to fare much better in coming years. It will be located in the Centennial Olympic Park area downtown near the Georgia Dome and World Congress Center.
The Hall has a price tag of $66.5 million, with the 94,256-square-feet hall facility costing $54 million. Both public and private funds will be used.