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Where is the NFL Hall of Fame and why?

The Pro Football Hall of Fame, which pays tribute to the best players and triumphs in NFL history, has welcomed more than 10 million visitors since 1963.

Former defensive tackle Richard Seymour of the New England Patriots at the podium for his hall of fame induction celebration during halftime in the game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on October 24, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Maddie MeyerAFP

Since the NFL Hall of Fame was opened in 1963, it has grown both in history and size. Known worldwide as the nation's biggest sport's hall of fame, its main goal is to “honor the heroes of the game, preserve its history, promote its values and celebrate excellence everywhere," as stated on their website.

Having received American Alliance of Museums (AAM) accreditation in 2017, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has joined an exclusive group of museums to be recognised by the AAM - 3% of all those in the US - and is the only sports museum to be selected. 

Where is the NFL Hall of Fame?

The National Football League decided in 1961 that the Hall of Fame should be placed in Canton, Ohio. However, it wasn't until September 7, 1963 that the facility was opened to the public, having been constructed in 1962.

Since then, the size of the museum has grown considerably from 19,000 square feet to the 118,000 square feet it encompasses in the present day, due to the four expansions carried out throughout the years: 1971, 1978, 1995, and 2012-13.

Why Canton?

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton, Ohio, for three primary reasons:

The NFL was founded in Canton

Professional American football has existed since 1892, but it had no formal structure and no base until on September 17, 1920 a group of men met in an auto showroom in Canton, owned by the owner of the Canton Bulldogs at the time, and left the place having founded the American Professional Football Association, renamed as the National Football League in 1922.

First team to win two back-to-back titles

Another reason for making Canton the place to install the Hall of Fame is due to the fact that the team the Canton Bulldogs, who have been around since the very beginnings of American football, won the first two NFL leagues in 1922 and 1923, becoming the first team to win back-to-back titles.

The team also established the record for the longest undefeated streak in the NFL so far, ending 22-0-3 in a 25-game span.

Canton's residents raised funds to build the Hall of Fame

Finally, and probably the most important reason for the facility to be set in Canton is the fact that the Canton citizens of 1960 brought together with their effort the money necessary for the building of the Hall of Fame to be constructed. The $400,000 fundraising achievement was the ultimate argument needed to designate Canton as the site of the NFL Hall of Fame.

In addition to this, they carried out a very successful campaign to earn the site designation based on two main arguments, that the league was first founded in the city of Canton and that the city hosted one of the best and most traditional teams in the entire history of American football.


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