CLEVELAND — The NFL’s 100th season has an official start date.

The Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos have been selected to open the 2019 NFL preseason in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, on Thursday, August 1 at 8 p.m.

The 2019 game will be the fourth appearance in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game for both franchises, who have key members of their respective organizations, Denver owner Pat Bowlen and cornerback Champ Bailey, as well as former Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez, going into the Hall of Fame later in the weekend.

“We are fired up to kick off the NFL’s 100th season in the Hall of Fame Game,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said in a release from the Hall of Fame announcing the game. “We are honored to play in Canton and be a part of the celebration for all of the inductees. This is also an opportunity for us to strengthen our connection and our brotherhood with additional time on the field.”

Denver coach Vic Fangio added, “With Mr. Bowlen and Champ Bailey part of this year’s induction class, it’s an honor for the Broncos to play in the Hall of Fame Game. We’re looking forward to seeing a lot of Broncos fans in Canton, and it’s also special for us to help kick off the NFL’s 100th season. Football-wise, it gives our team an extra week of training camp and additional practices that we’ll use to our advantage.”

Pro Football Hall of Fame
The Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos have been selected to participate in the 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio on August 1, 2019.
Matt Florjancic

The 2019 Enshrinement Week will be the official kickoff party to the NFL’s 100th season.

Following the game, which will air on NBC and be broadcast by the Sunday Night Football crew, the inductees will take part in the Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner on Friday, August 2 and the Enshrinees Roundtable on Sunday, August 4.

Then, Imagine Dragons, the Grammy, Billboard and American Music Award-winning rock band from Las Vegas, will wrap up the week with the Concert for Legends at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on Sunday night, August 4.

Bowlen, Bailey (Washington/Denver), Gonzalez (Kansas City Chiefs/Atlanta), contributor Gil Brandt (Dallas Cowboys/NFL), cornerback Ty Law (New England Patriots/New York Jets/Chiefs/Broncos), center Kevin Mawae (Seattle Seahawks/Jets/Tennessee Titans), safety Ed Reed (Baltimore Ravens/Houston Texans/Jets) and safety Johnny Robinson (Dallas Texans/Chiefs) comprise the Class of 2019 and will be enshrined in Canton on Saturday, August 3, 2019.