CANTON, Ohio — Two weeks ago, we told you that the naming rights sponsor of Canton's Hall of Fame Village wanted out of the deal. But that doesn't mean the project is dead. In fact, organizers tell me it's very much alive and they are really about to get things spinning.
Back in January, 3News broke news that saddened many people, that the iconic Ferris wheel was leaving the I-X Center. But where would it go?
Three months later, we got the answer. And it was great news: It was staying in Northeast Ohio at the Hall of Fame Village in Canton.
“It was critical for us," says Mike Crawford, the President and CEO of Hall of Fame Resort and Entertainment Company. "We wanted to have something outdoors that was going to be iconic as you were driving down 77 you looked over and saw, wow, this is a destination that has rides and shows and different things."
Crawford took over in 2018 with a re-phased vision of the original plan: He's hoping you feel the nostalgia of the Ferris wheel and come experience all they have to offer.
Phase 1 of that plan has been completed. As for Phase 2, it's called Play-Action Plaza and officials say it will have something for everyone. An amphitheater will host a variety of events, including concerts. Other additions include restaurants, food trucks, an outdoor bar, vendors and entertainment options -- and eventually, sports betting.
Plus there are several attractions like the Ferris wheel and soaring football zipline.
Construction is well underway and is expected to be completed and open late this summer. And then next year: A football-themed water park and hotel is in the works.
For a project that's seen a lot of false starts with internal and external issues, they understand if you need to see it to believe it.
"It's going to happen," Crawford says. "Our commitment to the community and the region is very real and hopefully by this summer their going to see a whole different campus."