CANTON, Ohio — The Canton City Council has approved the Hall of Fame Village as its latest Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA), the second district of its kind in the city.
The designation allows people to leave an establishment with an open alcoholic beverage.
There are about 120 DORAs across the state and local officials are hoping the new designation helps the village attract major events that might otherwise have passed it by.
“We think the village is going to be a special place,” said President of Operations Mike Levy. “There will be a little bit for everyone. But we know when people come down here at the Hall of Fame Village, they're going to have a great time.”
The Hall of Fame Village has been slowly expanding its footprint over the last several years, evolving into a football destination filled with entertainment, cultural and economic activity.
“We're going to have a lot of different restaurants and areas you can go and to get a drink and you don't have to stay inside, but you can just get to take that drink with you,” Levy said.
Canton created its first DORA, which included downtown, in April of 2016. The council can approve up to six districts, but the Hall of Fame Village represents a large and unique footprint.
“Here we have 100 acres. You’re going to be able to walk from our sports complex to our lawn sports complex, all the way down to our water park and to our retail area,” Levy said. “There's going to be a lot of fun places for people to go.”
The village is expected to generate more than $150 million each year in the next four years, according to the DORA application. The city will benefit by collecting tens of millions in tax revenue, and declaring a DORA district requires no monetary input from the city.
“Is going to be a very unique environment,” Levy said. “It's a very integrated footprint....There'll be concert nights where you can get a ticket to the concert, but you'll be able to hang out in the village. And that's what we want.”
The Ohio Division of Liquor Control has to review the DORA plan before it can become a reality, a process that could take a couple of months.
As the Village works to become a football destination, guests will also be able to benefit from other attractions like an interactive sports book, live entertainment and even a TopGolf Swing Suites.
“We just think that this is going to be a place that people will enjoy, and the DORA is just one more reason for people to come to Hall of Fame Village,” Levy said.
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