NFL owners vote to invest in hall of fame village development, so can you

The NFL will invest up to $10 million in a mixed-use development neighboring the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

The league’s owners voted in favor of the investment in the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village at their fall meeting this week, the Canton Repository reported.

This would mark the NFL’s first investment in the project, though former New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson gave $11 million before his death, according to the report. A 23,000-seat stadium, which is part of the village and is used for local games and a concert venue, was built during the project’s $250-million first phase and was named after him.

It's unclear if the NFL plans to invest directly into the development or into stock of the publicly traded company developing the project.

The NFL did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. (Credit: Pro Football Hall of Fame)

The company behind the development, HOF Village LLC, announced in September that it was merging with publicly-traded Gordon Pointe Acquisition Corp. in a deal the companies valued at $390 million.

Mike Crawford, the CEO of HOF Village and the combined company, said they’re making “the equivalent of the ‘Disneyland’ of professional football.”

Shares of Gordon Pointe closed at $10.49 a share on Friday.

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There are plans for the village to also include a hotel, office building, health care facility, retail space and an indoor water park.

Construction on the next phase is expected to cost $268 million, according to the report. Work is expected to get underway later this year or early next year.

“"We are leveraging a multi-dimensional approach to engage consumers by providing authentic storytelling through our media arm while bringing those stories to life in an immersive 3D environment unlike any other,” he said. “Importantly, the implementation of our integrated business model towards diversified future revenue streams and strong growth prospects positions us to drive creativity, efficiency and profitability as we work to connect with consumers in meaningful ways.”