The new $68.5M The College Football HOF and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience will open Saturday "on schedule and on budget" as only $1M of public money was used to construct the facility and the additional costs were "raised through sponsorship dollars and private donations," according to Michael Smith of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The Atlanta museum is "down to its last two major pieces of sponsorship inventory, and when those are sold, the attraction will have the commitments it needs to pay off the 94,256-square-foot building." The HOF "projects 500,000 visitors a year, an ambitious number compared to the halls for other sports, where 200,000 to 300,000 a year is the norm." Ticket sales are "projected to account" for 60-70% of the estimated $10M in annual revenue. The HOF is "pushing all of the sponsorship revenue toward paying for the building, so none of that money is included in the annual budget." If it "hits its visitor goals -- adult tickets run $19.99 each -- it will make a tidy profit." The "break-even point is around 380,000 annual visitors." Coke "sponsors a gallery on game-day traditions" and Kia "brought in a specially designed car with a drop-down TV and built-in grill for tailgating." College Football HOF presenting sponsor Chick-fil-A has its "name on multiple elements." The "two major spaces remaining without a sponsor are the 150-seat theater and the 45-yard field with a goalpost." The HOF "wouldn’t comment on the value of specific deals, but the 15 sponsorships sold so far went for a wide range, starting in the mid-to-high six figures for official partners to more than seven figures a year" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/18 issue).
KIDS IN THE HALL: USA TODAY's Larry Copeland noted the HOF itself is a "dome-like structure evocative of a cathedral." The players' names, playing years and school are "etched in stately, tall glass panels on the wall of the circular-shaped room." In the center of the room will "stand 10 huge television screens with interactive consoles where visitors can learn everything they want to know about any player." When visitors pay their admission, they "can register with their name, email address and their favorite school." That information "will be encoded on an RFID chip in their plastic ticket" so whenever they "approach an attraction that features a player from their school, the chip will alert them" (USATODAY, 8/17).
Hall of Fame