CANTON, Ohio — The Pro Football Hall of Fame is just one week away from welcoming the classes of 2020 and 2021 after last year's enshrinement festival was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hall of Fame President David Baker calls it "Twice the fun in '21." This year's enshrinement celebration will highlight both ceremonies as well as the Hall of Fame Game between the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers.
"We'll be the first full stadium football in 18 months since the Super Bowl in Miami," Baker declared.
The week of events will also include the Concert for Legends, which will feature Brad Paisley and Lynard Skynard. The Hall of Fame is expecting around 70,000 visitors next week.
"There's a lot of inspiration, a lot of special moments that these heroes of the game provide us," Baker said, "and it can inspire a lot of other people to be heroes."
Fans can expect to see COVID guidelines in place during enshrinement week. Masks are not required for those who have been, vaccinated but it's strongly recommended for those who haven't received the vaccine.
Construction to transform the Hall of Fame Village into a destination will take a break next week. Once construction resumes, crews will continue work on a new retail and entertainment space that is expected to be completed by next summer.
"It was a hard year, and we're continuing to face a little adversity," said Mike Crawford, the President and CEO of the Hall of Fame Resort and Entertainment Company. "The pandemic is not gone, but we're creating a safe environment, and we've done the things we need to do to get through and execute them."
The Hall of Fame Village will also include a hotel, football-themed waterpark, and Center for Performance.