Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium

Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium (formerly Fawcett Stadium) is a football stadium and entertainment complex in Canton, Ohio. It is located adjacent to the grounds of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and is a major component of Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village. The venue hosts the annual Hall of Fame Game, along with various high school and college football games. Dedicated in 1938, the stadium's original name honored the memory of John A. Fawcett, a former Canton board of education member, who died several years before the stadium was completed.

On November 24, 2014, it was announced that Tom Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints, would be donating $11 million to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, $10 million of which was to go into renovating Fawcett Stadium. In response to Benson's donation, the Hall of Fame announced that Fawcett Stadium would be renamed Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium,[2][3] which was dedicated on August 3, 2017. Benson died less than a year later, on March 15, 2018.

Fawcett Stadium served as the home for Canton McKinley High School, Malone University, and Walsh University, in addition to several other high schools.

Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium
Tom Benson HOF Stadium-July2017
Aerial of Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium
Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium is located in Ohio
Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium
Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium
Location in Ohio
Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium is located in the United States
Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium
Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium
Location in the United States
Former namesFawcett Stadium
(1938–2015)
LocationCanton, Ohio, U.S.
Coordinates40°49′12″N 81°23′53″W / 40.820°N 81.398°WCoordinates: 40°49′12″N 81°23′53″W / 40.820°N 81.398°W
OwnerNFL
Capacity23,000
SurfaceTurf Nation
(formerly AstroTurf,
originally natural grass)
Construction
Broke ground1924
Opened1938, 81 years ago
2016 (re-opened)
Renovated2015–2016
Construction costUS$500,000[1]
Tenants
Canton McKinley HS Bulldogs (1924–2015, 2017-present)
Walsh Cavaliers (NCAA)
Hall of Fame Game
(NFL) (1962–present)
Lincoln HS Lions (1926–1975)
Lehman HS Polar Bears (1932–1975)
GlenOak HS Golden Eagles (1997–2006)
Canton Timken HS Trojans (1976–2014)
Malone Pioneers (NCAA) (1993-2015, 2017-2018)

Construction

The stadium was built from 1937 to 1939 at an estimated cost of $500,000. The federal government in the form of manpower, the WPA, paid for $400,000 while a school board bond issue paid for the materials. The stadium originally seated 15,000 and was the largest high school stadium in the country at that time.

On the grounds of the facility was a park, aptly named "Stadium Park". This park still exists although presently is much more disjointed from the stadium as part of the park was used as the site of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and also because what is left of the park is separated from Benson Stadium by Interstate 77.[1]

Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium was constructed as a replacement for League Field, the city's previous stadium, where Canton's professional football team, the Bulldogs, played many of their games.

History

Fawcett Stadium
Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in 2006

Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium seats 23,000 and has an NFL-caliber press box.[4]

Five Canton area high schools have played their football seasons on this field (McKinley Bulldogs, Lincoln Lions, Lehman Polar Bears, GlenOak Golden Eagles, and Canton Timken Trojans). Future Cleveland Browns great and Pro Football Hall of Famer Marion Motley, who along with fellow Hall of Famer Bill Willis broke the color barrier in modern professional football with the Cleveland Browns in 1946, scored the first touchdown in the stadium in 1938. Each summer, it hosts the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, the first contest of the National Football League (NFL) exhibition season.

Malone University also previously utilized the stadium as their home field for football until the program was discontinued after the 2018 season.[5]

It is presently the home field for the McKinley Senior High School and Walsh University. The Ohio High School Athletic Association football state championship games were split between Fawcett Stadium and nearby Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon between 1991-2014, and all football state championship games were played at the stadium in 2017 and 2018.[6]

In 1997, the stadium underwent a major renovation and a name change. Backed by the Canton community, $4.3 million worth of improvements were completed on the stadium. Some of the major improvements included state-of-the-art Astroturf with a player friendly rubber base, new locker room facilities, new scoreboard with graphics display screen, new lighting, new sound system, new electrical services, structural repairs, vinyl caps for all wooden seats, and a renovated press box. The newly renovated facility was also renamed to include the words Pro Football Hall of Fame Field.[1]

From 1997 to 2000, Benson Stadium was the home of the Victory Bowl, the NCCAA championship football game. In 2002, The Sporting News rated Benson Stadium the number one high school football venue in America.[7]

In 2009, the stadium hosted the inaugural IFAF Junior World Championship of American Football. The tournament gathered 16 best national teams from around the world. It hosted the 2015 IFAF World Championship in 2015.

In 2020 and 2021, the Stadium will be the site of the NCAA Division III Football Championship. The Ohio Athletic Conference will be the host as designated by the NCAA.[8]

2015–16 reconstruction

After the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame game concluded, demolition began on the stadium. The construction limited fan seating during the fall football season. The final phase of construction was scheduled to begin after the 2016 Hall of Fame Game. However, approximately an hour prior to kickoff, the game was cancelled due to poor field conditions caused by the use of improper paints applied to the field to create the Hall of Fame logo and other on-field graphics.[9]

References

  1. ^ a b c "Fawcett Stadium". Football.ballparks.com. 1999-08-09. Retrieved 2013-09-07.
  2. ^ "Tom Benson donates $11M to Hall" (Press release). Pro Football Hall of Fame. November 24, 2014. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  3. ^ Patra, Kevin (November 24, 2014). "Tom Benson makes $11 million pledge to Hall of Fame". National Football League. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  4. ^ http://www.neworleanssaints.com/news-and-events/article-1/Tom-Benson-Hall-of-Fame-Stadium-dedicated/08afb78d-4525-477a-8b0e-53536b68dd7a
  5. ^ https://www.ohio.com/sports/20190201/malone-university-dropping-football-program-amid-restructuring
  6. ^ https://www.ohsaa.org/sports/history/ft/state_results.htm
  7. ^ "Canton McKinley Football - Stadium and Facilities". Cantonmckinley.com. Archived from the original on 2013-01-31. Retrieved 2013-09-07.
  8. ^ https://www.ncaa.com/news/ncaa/article/2017-04-18/2019-2022-future-diii-ncaa-championship-sites
  9. ^ "No home games for McKinley in 2016". FridayNightOhio.com. September 2, 2015. Retrieved November 12, 2015.

See also

2015 IFAF World Championship

The 2015 IFAF World Championship was the fifth instance of the IFAF World Championship, an international American football tournament. The United States hosted the tournament. Seven teams had confirmed their participation for the tournament in Canton, Ohio.The tournament was to be hosted by Stockholm, Sweden with all games to be taken place at the new Tele2 Arena, but on 19 December 2014, the local organizing committee for the Stockholm 2015 VM Amerikansk fotboll announced that it could not raise the sponsor structure to run the event and thus had to cancel. USA Football then stepped in and announced the Championships would be held at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton. Several days later both the German and Austrian teams announced they would not be able to attend the 2015 Championships citing the increased financial costs of travelling to the United States and also questioning the choice of Canton for hosting it due to the lack of facilities for a large number of teams.The United States won their third consecutive championship in their third appearance, defeating Japan in the final. The Gold Medal Game international broadcast was carried on Sports Radio America.

2019 Atlanta Falcons season

The 2019 Atlanta Falcons season will be the franchise's 54th season in the National Football League, their third playing their home games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and their fifth under head coach Dan Quinn.

Bernlohr Stadium

Bernlohr Stadium is the home stadium to the Capital Crusaders of Capital University. The stadium is located on Capital University's Campus in Bexley, Ohio. Capital University is a member of the Ohio Athletic Conference. Bernlohr Stadium is mainly used for men's football, men's and women's soccer, and men's and women's lacrosse.

Blue Army Tour

The Blue Army Tour was a concert tour by American hard rock band Aerosmith. The tour sent the band to 17 locations across North America from June to August 2015, followed by a one-off performance in Moscow on September 5. The band started the tour in Glendale, Arizona on June 13, 2015. The band performed at a mix of large venues, small venues, and festivals. The tour saw the band perform in several locations they had never previously performed in, as well as locations the band had not performed in several years. The band played some lesser-known deep cuts on the tour.

DiSanto Field

DiSanto Field, on the campus of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, is a 2,400-seat multi-purpose football stadium home to the Case Western Reserve Spartans football, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's lacrosse, and men's and women's track and field teams.

The press box includes the Coach Bill Edwards president's suite, named after the College Football Hall of Fame inductee coach. In 2008, the eight-lane track surrounding the field was named Coach Bill Sudeck Track.

The Case Western Reserve Spartans football team played its first home game in the new stadium on September 10, 2005, defeating the Denison Big Red 20-6.

Dial–Roberson Stadium

Dial-Roberson All-Events Stadium is a stadium on the campus of Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio, United States. The stadium is the home of the Ohio Northern Polar Bears football team, and also houses facilities for other ONU athletic teams. The stadium has an official seating capacity of 3,500, but can accommodate more than 1,000 additional spectators on the lawn surrounding the field.

The first game at Dial–Roberson Stadium was held on September 4, 2004. The Polar Bears defeated Westminster College, 31-0. The stadium is named for Jim and Nidrah Dial, and for former ONU head football coach Arden Roberson. Roberson was represented by family friend and Ohio State Buckeyes football coach Jim Tressel at the dedication of the facility, held September 25, 2004.Prior to the opening of the stadium, the Polar Bears played at Ada War Memorial Stadium.

Doyt Perry Stadium

Doyt Perry Stadium is a stadium on the campus of Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, United States. It is primarily used for American football, and is the home field of the Bowling Green Falcons football team. It opened in 1966 and originally held 23,232 people.

France national American football team

The France national American football team is the official American football senior national team of France.

It is controlled by the Fédération Française de Football Américain (FFFA) and competed for the first time in the American Football World Cup (IFAF World Cup) in 2003.

They get their players from teams of Ligue Élite de Football Américain.

Glass Bowl

The Glass Bowl is a stadium in Toledo, Ohio. It is primarily used for American football, and is the home field of the University of Toledo Rockets. It is located on the school's Bancroft campus, just south of the banks of the Ottawa River. Known for its blend of old and new, it retains the traditional stonework around the field throughout all its expansions.

List of NCAA Division II football programs

This is a list of the schools in Division II of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the United States and Canada that have football as a varsity sport. In the 2018 season, there are a total of 167 Division II football programs - three fewer than in 2017. Of those three Cheyney University dropped the sport, while Saint Joseph's College (Indiana) ceased operations; the University of North Alabama has moved to the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision level.

List of current National Football League stadiums

This article is a list of current National Football League stadiums, sorted by capacity, their locations, their first year of usage and home teams. Though there are 32 teams in the National Football League (NFL), there are only 31 full-time NFL stadiums because the New York Giants and New York Jets share MetLife Stadium. This number is scheduled to decrease to 30 when the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers will begin to share the Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park in 2020.

The newest NFL stadium is Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, home of the Atlanta Falcons, which opened for the 2017 season. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, home of the Los Angeles Rams, is the oldest, having opened in 1923.

The NFL uses several other stadiums on a regular basis in addition to the teams' designated regular home sites. In England, Wembley Stadium in London is contracted to host at least two games per season, as part of the NFL International Series which runs through 2020, and Twickenham Stadium, also in London, is scheduled to host at least one game. Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, Mexico, will also host a NFL International Series game in 2018. In addition, Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, is the location of the annual exhibition Pro Football Hall of Fame Game. Since 2016, Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida has hosted the Pro Bowl.

The majority of current NFL stadiums have sold naming rights to corporations. As of the 2018 season, Arrowhead Stadium, Lambeau Field, Paul Brown Stadium, and Soldier Field have never sold naming rights, while Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum and Broncos Stadium at Mile High have previously sold naming rights. The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – a temporary NFL venue – has sold their naming rights in a deal that will officially change the stadium's name in August 2019.

Pro Football Hall of Fame

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the hall of fame for professional American football, located in Canton, Ohio. Opened in 1963, the Hall of Fame enshrines exceptional figures in the sport of professional football, including players, coaches, franchise owners, and front-office personnel, almost all of whom made their primary contributions to the game in the National Football League (NFL); the Hall inducts between four and eight new enshrinees each year. The Hall of Fame's Mission is to "Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve its History, Promote its Values & Celebrate Excellence EVERYWHERE."

The Hall of Fame class of 2019 (Tony Gonzalez, Ed Reed, Champ Bailey, Ty Law, Kevin Mawae, Pat Bowlen, Gil Brandt, and Johnny Robinson) were selected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame by a 48-member selection committee and announced on February 2, 2019. Including the 2019 class, there are now a total of 326 members of the Hall of Fame.

Pro Football Hall of Fame Game

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Game is an annual National Football League (NFL) exhibition game that is held the weekend of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's induction ceremonies. The game is played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, which is located adjacent to the Hall of Fame building in Canton, Ohio. It is traditionally the first game played in the NFL preseason for any given year, marking the end of the NFL's six-month off-season.

Selby Field

Selby Field, usually referred to simply as Selby, is the football, field hockey, track & field and lacrosse field at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, where the Battling Bishops play.

Selby has a seating capacity of 9,100, with all seats falling between the 15-yard lines of the field. Its press box was lauded as the largest in Ohio outside of Ohio Stadium.

Selby Field is located on South Henry Street, just east of the academic and administrative buildings of Ohio Wesleyan.

On March 18, 1985, Selby Field was added to the National Register of Historic Places. From 2012 through 2015, the Ohio Machine of Major League Lacrosse played home games at Selby Field.

Stambaugh Stadium

Stambaugh Stadium, officially Arnold D. Stambaugh Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium in Youngstown, Ohio, United States, on the campus of Youngstown State University. The stadium was built in 1982, and is primarily used for American football. It is the home venue for the Youngstown State Penguins football team, a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division I Football Championship Division (FCS) level and the Missouri Valley Football Conference.

Walsh Cavaliers

The Walsh Cavaliers are the athletic teams that represent Walsh University, located in North Canton, Ohio, in NCAA Division II intercollegiate sporting competitions. The Cavaliers compete as members of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference for 17 of 18 varsity sports, while the men's lacrosse team plays in the ECAC Division II Lacrosse League. Walsh will depart the GLIAC, of which the Cavaliers have been a member since 2012, for the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) in 2017.

Welcome Stadium

The Welcome Stadium is an 11,000-seat multi-purpose stadium in Dayton, Ohio, United States, owned and operated by the Dayton Public Schools[1]. Primary tenants of the facility include University of Dayton' Flyers football team and the Dayton Dynamo of the National Premier Soccer League. The stadium features a large video board.

Williams Stadium (Wilmington)

Williams Stadium, on the Campus of Wilmington College in Wilmington, Ohio, is a 3,500-seat multi-purpose football stadium that is home to the Wilmington College Quakers football, men's and women's soccer, and men's and women's lacrosse teams.

Yager Stadium (Miami University)

Fred C. Yager Stadium is a football stadium in Oxford, Ohio, USA. It is home to the Miami University RedHawks football team. It has a capacity of 24,286 spectators, and was built in 1983. It replaced Miami Field, which had been used since 1895 (the stands had been built in 1916) and was the home field for many of the coaches who had made the school famous. The stadium is named for Fred C. Yager, class of 1914, who was the lead benefactor in the project to build the stadium.

Events and tenants
Preceded by
first stadium
Home of the Victory Bowl
1997 – 2000
Succeeded by
Ernest W. Spangler Stadium
Facilities
Athletics
American Football
Conference
National Football
Conference
Hall of Fame Game
Pro Bowl
International Series
Division I
FBS
Division I
FCS
Division II
Division III

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