CANTON, Ohio — Some good news for sports fans who have been deprived of sports since the coronavirus pandemic nearly three months ago: the Canton Pro Football Hall of Fame said it still tentatively plans to hold the highly anticipated enshrinement ceremony and hall of fame game the weekend of August 9.
The hall of fame reopens Wednesday for the first time after a nearly three-month closure caused by the pandemic. It’s the first time it had ever closed since its grand opening in September 1963.
The Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony scheduled for Aug. 6-8 and the annual Hall of Fame Game between the Steelers and Cowboys are both still a go, making the Hall of Fame Game one of the first exhibitions in the 2020 NFL preseason with fans in attendance, said Rich Desrosiers, VP of communications for the Hall on Wednesday.
However, all that is planned is subject to change as there is “the very real possibility that either the National Football League or the state of Ohio could make a decision that affects us and that timeline,” Desrosiers said.
If the NFL were to shorten its preseason or eliminate preseason games altogether, or if the governor or state health director determines the crowds of any size can’t gather for an outdoor event, the hall would adjust existing plans accordingly.
“In the absence of either of those outside factors, the Hall is preparing for 'business as usual' in August,” he said.
Desrosiers said that as Ohio continues to reopen, the hall remains encouraged that eight more weeks of progress against COVID-19 can put the events in good standing and at a safe place for everyone involved. Hall officials will continue to monitor any upticks in COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks.