The Pro Football Hall of Fame Village in Canton has cut the ribbon for one of its latest additions, a new 100,000 square foot, 87 foot high dome.
The inflatable dome is called the Center for Performance and, according to the village, is the largest of its kind in the United States. The idea of the dome, as opposed to a brick-and-mortar structure, came out of an effort to lower the price, said Michael Crawford, president and CEO of Pro Football Hall of Fame Village
“The cost was about $17 million instead of $50 million, so the return is a lot better now,” Crawford said.
The inflatable dome allows for tournaments and other activities year-round, regardless of the weather, Crawford said.
“In Ohio, we have weather similar to the Northeast and Midwest, and you know we’ve had a great sports team for many, many years that’s been running a lot of youth and adult athletic programs,” Crawford said. “But in December the nice weather starts blowing and we can’t let them go anymore.”
The dome is 100,000 square feet and is used for sporting events and tournaments.[Eman Abu-Khaled / Ideastream Public Media]
The dome is used for sporting events, tournaments, concerts and congresses.
“And now when athletes show up – and I hear this in passing – they show up and say, ‘Wow, these are the best fields we’ve ever played on. Literally the best pitches we’ve ever played on,’ which is fantastic,” said Crawford.
This venue is another step in making the village a tourist destination, Crawford said.
“Well, we’re going to cut a ribbon on a building, but I’d like to think of it as cutting a ribbon on a target,” Crawford said. “Because the goal is really what we’re about right now. ”
Next for the Village is a football hotel and water park.
“I’m pleased to report that you will be seeing the groundbreaking shortly,” Crawford said. “Well, we’re a public company, so I can’t give you an exact date yet. But you will see an announcement about that, but when I say short-term, I mean short-term.”
Meanwhile, the Hall of Fame Village has received provisional admission to sports betting. If the company meets legal requirements, it could offer retail sports betting and mobile betting on Jan. 1, when sports betting becomes legal in Ohio.