Posted by Terrence Dalton
The Rotary Club of Akron had the pleasure of listening to a presentation on the Hall of Fame Resort and Entertainment Company, the driving force behind the development of the Football Hall of Fame project at our Tuesday, June 1st weekly meeting.  Our speaker was Anne Graffice, Executive Vice-President of Public Affairs.   Anne joined Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company (NASDAQ: HOFV, HOFVW) in December 2019. In this role, Ms. Graffice oversees community, investor, media and government relations, and manages all corporate social responsibility initiatives for the Company.
In July 2020, Ms. Graffice was a key component of the transaction that made Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company public through a merger with a Special Purpose Acquisition Company.
Previously, Ms. Graffice successfully served in a similar role at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which she joined in May 2016 as Vice President of Development & Strategic Adventures. She served as the Hall’s primary corporate and community relations contact, and oversaw diversity programs and policies; controlled development and engagement for the Hall of Fame Village powered by Johnson Controls; and developed programming for the Center for Excellence.
What is the Hall of Fame Resort and Entertainment Company?
The Hall of Fame Resort and Entertainment Company is a multi-dimensional Sports and Entertainment Company.  They are comprised of three divisions.  The first is their Themed, Experiential Assets which includes themed attractions, hospitality, and live entertainment.  The second area is their Media company which is comprised of original content, High Profile Partnerships and Sponsorships. The third company, which has grown more quickly than anticipated because of COVID-19 is their Gaming company which is comprised of Fantasy Sports, e-Gaming and Sports Betting.
The concept behind these growth areas is to make the Hall of Fame Resort and Entertainment Company a Destination Asset for Greater Northeast Ohio and beyond.
The Hall of Fame Resort and Entertainment Company has divided up the development of the Destination asset into three phases:
          Phase I which is completed and created about $250 million in assets is comprised of
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame
  • Tom Benson HOF Stadium
  • National Youth Football and Sports Complex
Phase II (Double Tree by Hilton hotel opened in downtown Canton in Nov, 2020) (A $30 million dollar renovation)
          Approximately 120 acres developed to create the following:
  • Hall of Fame Indoor Waterpark
  • The Eleven, a Hilton Tapestry Hotel
  • Constellation Center for Excellence (75,00 sq. ft multi-use office building, center and hub for research and development for sports.  Will also have a huge scoreboard in the front of the building.
  • Center for Performance – an indoor fieldhouse, home for the NFL Alumni Association and their academy. It could be used for auto shows, indoor garden shows, indoor football games, indoor training facilities, etc.
  • Retail Promenade – There will be two of these with 10-12 different storefront businesses.
  • Play-action Plaza – an outdoor interactive green space.
Phase III (Up to $300 million in new assets across 600 acres of available land)
  • Includes potential for additional attractions, dining, lodging and accommodations housing options, etc.
What is the Hall of Fame Resort and Entertainment Center Approach for Success?          
  • An opportunity to invest in the most powerful sport in America
  • Leveraging powerful brands across an integrated platform
  • Delivering unique experiences for loyal consumers
  • Maximizing media content and sponsorships
  • Significant long-term growth potential for their shareholders
  • Exceptional leadership with proven track record
What has been happening and can happen at the Hall of Fame Resort and Entertainment Center pre COVID and post COVID?
  • More than 70 events were held in 2019.  This included stadium, youth sports and private events. 
  • The Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium can hold live events, concerts and performances, weddings, corporate retreats, and indoor/outdoor parties.
  • The National Youth Football and Sports Complex and hold youth sporting events and tournaments, sports academies and athletic clinics.
  • The Center for Performance can house indoor sporting events, NFL Alumni Academy sports/events and convention space for events.
  • The Constellation Center for Excellence can provide meeting space and speaking engagements.
  • The Premium Hotels (Double Tree and the Eleven Hilton Tapestry hotels) can provide meeting space for meetings, conventions and banquets, weddings, corporate retreats, and indoor/outdoor parties.
  • The indoor waterpark can be rented for events and private parties
  • The Play- Action Plaza provides green space for recreation, events, and informal gatherings.
To learn more about the Hall of Fame Resort and Entertainment Center growth plans, etc. I encourage readers to view the recording: click here or copy and paste this link
Having heard Ms. Graffice’s presentation, I am sure you will be eager to follow the development of this destination spot and frequent the events that will be occurring now and in the future.  An asset that Northeast Ohio should be very proud of.