The second phase of the Pro Football Hall of Fame project—namely, Tom Benson Stadium—is now complete. New renderings have also been released for the rest of the HKS Architects–designed venue, revealing what it could look like to be in this football-centric, “live-work-play” scheme.
The 23,000-seat Tom Benson Stadium, part of the $700 million Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village in Canton, Ohio, opened to the public this month. The football stadium features a stage that's permanently embedded within the seating bowl as well as event terraces and luxury suites. In accordance to the “live-work-play” theme, the stadium will be not just be confined to sports events; it will host entertainment events and regional universities and high schools will also be able to use the venue.
The village is being heralded as the first-ever sports and entertainment “smart city,” according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s website. The “smart city” element will come from building systems being managed through advanced data analytics and from having infrastructure integration for maximum efficiency. A quarter of the project's budget will be spent on developing technology, according to Forbes. This includes the ability to geotag family members so visitors can find each other and wearable technology that tells you when to queue for a specific experience.
Other components for the 300-acre site include a National Football and Youth Sports Complex that has eight multi-purpose turf fields, a 345,400-square-foot hotel, a senior center for retired members of the NFL community, and an education-based "Center for EXCELLENCE." The existing Hall of Fame Museum will undergo improvements as part of the project. A main corridor with retail, restaurants, and office space will bring the village together.
"Our goal is to create the most intimate, immersive and connected fan experience in all of sports. We are extending the Pro Football Hall of Fame into a true live-work-play destination," Mark Williams, HKS principal, said to Forbes.
The rest of construction will be carried out in phases. The final phase of the venue will coincide with the NFL’s 100th season and subsequent Centennial celebration in 2019.