CANTON, Ohio — The Hall of Fame Village (HOFV) in Canton cut the ribbon for the largest domed facility of its kind in the country on Thursday morning.
3News live streamed the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Center for Performance in Stark County, which can be viewed inside this story.
The one-of-a-kind domed facility features 100,000 square feet of space, serving as a large venue for year-round events such as concerts, sporting events and conventions in Stark County.
"We've built the ForeverLawn sports complex outdoors, but the Center for Performance is really bringing everything indoors now, giving us 12-months-a-year usage," said Clint Fretty, vice president and general manager of the Hall of Fame Village.
Hall of Fame Resort and Entertainment President and CEO Michael Crawford and other community and construction leaders were in attendance at the event.
The event served as not just a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Center of Performance, but for the HOFV as a whole.
"We never had an official ribbon cutting for the Village. I believe we were all struck by the global health pandemic..." said Crawford. "We thought today could be a nice celebration and recognition of all the hard work and perseverance as a community and as individuals that we have had to go through. We are going to cut a ribbon for a building, but we are cutting a ribbon for a destination."
Canton's Hall of Fame Village, which was developed around the Pro Football Hall of Fame Museum, plans to create many other immersive experiences for visitors.
The Center for Performance is one of the many projects happening in the Village's Phase 2. Other projects include an indoor football-themed waterpark, the Hilton Tapestry Hotel, a Fan Engagement Zone, Play Action Plaza and the Hall Of Fame Village Sports Complex.
On Thursday, Crawford stated that the Hall of Fame Village is three-quarters of the way through Phase 2. The remaining two projects left are the football-themed waterpark and football-themed hotel.
"I am happy to say you will see ground break on those in the near term," announced Crawford at the event.
Crawford added that combining sports with leisure is the playbook to making Stark County a bucket-list destination. "The anchor is sports, so giving a one-of-a-kind destination for athletes to come and play on and off the field is key. But probably just as important is a place for people to be entertained and to have one-of-a-kind experiences that they can't have anywhere else."
One of the biggest bonuses with the Hall of Fame Village expansion is the economic impact. The project is bringing in hundreds of jobs and potentially millions of dollars to the city of Canton.
"If you look at four or five years from now, you’re talking about several hundreds of millions of dollars of economic impact on a community that really needs that," Crawford said