Old entrance to The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio
The community of
Canton, Ohio successfully lobbied the NFL to have the Hall of Fame built in their city for two reasons: first, the NFL was founded in Canton in 1920 (at that time it was known as the
); second, the now-defunct
Canton Bulldogs were a successful NFL team based in Canton during the first few years of the league. Groundbreaking for the building was held on August 11, 1962. The original building contained just two rooms, and 19,000 square feet (1,800 m2) of interior space.
In April 1970, ground was broken for the first of many expansions. This first expansion cost
$620,000, and was completed in May 1971. The size was increased to 34,000 square feet (3,200 m2) by adding another room. The pro shop opened with this expansion. This was also an important milestone for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as yearly attendance passed the 200,000 mark for the first time. This was at least in some part due to the increase in popularity of professional football caused by the advent of the
and its success in the final two
Inside the original structure in 2008.
In November 1977, work began on another expansion project, costing US$1,200,000. It was completed in November 1978, enlarging the gift shop and research library, while doubling the size of the theater. The total size of the hall was now 50,500 square feet (4,690 m2), more than 2.5 times the original size.
The building remained largely unchanged until July 1993. The Hall then announced yet another expansion, costing US$9,200,000, and adding a fifth room. This expansion was completed in October 1995. The building's size was increased to 82,307 square feet (7,647 m2). The most notable addition was the GameDay Stadium, which shows an
NFL Films production on a 20-foot (6.1 m) by 42-foot (13 m)
In July 2017, Hall of Fame President David Baker announced an $800 million expansion project leading up to the NFL's 100th season in 2020.
Executive Directors/Presidents of Hall of Fame
- Dick McCann (April 4, 1962-November 1967)
- Dick Gallagher (April 1968-December 31, 1975)
Pete Elliott (February 1979-October 31, 1996)
- John Bankert (November 1, 1996-December 31, 2005)
- Steve Perry (April 24, 2006-January 2014)
David Baker (January 6, 2014-present)