College Football HOF In Atlanta Looks To Open In Late '14 With Sponsors, Loans Secured
The National Football Foundation, which three years ago decided to move the College Football HOF to Atlanta, "received assurance this week that the long-delayed attraction will be built" in the city, according to Tim Tucker of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell said, "I think it's fair to say that all systems are go." Atlanta Hall Management interim CEO John Stephenson "reported to the NFF board that enough sponsorship and loan commitments have been secured to proceed with construction." Stephenson also said that AHM has signed contracts for $51.5M in sponsorships -- $43M of it "to be collected before the facility opens -- and has lined up" $22.5M in bank loans. AHM "hasn't named the sponsors publicly, saying companies want to announce on their own timetables." Stephenson "put the cost of the project" at $66.9M. That figure does not include $15M "in state funding" that the Georgia World Congress Center Authority "expects to secure for a parking deck, road work and a new entrance to the Congress Center's Building A, which is adjacent to the hall site." Stephenson said that the next steps are "to complete architectural drawings and set a date to begin construction." The HOF now "plans an opening date in late 2014" (AJC.com, 10/11).