The eyes of the football world will once again focus on Canton Thursday night, as the first preseason game kicks off in a new stadium.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame presented its new stadium Thursday afternoon, named after Tom Benson.
The hall is promising it will not have the same field fiasco that led to last year's game being canceled.
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The Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals will play Thursday night at 8 p.m.
Benson — the 90-year-old owner of the New Orleans Saints — and his wife, donated $11 million, most of which went toward building the new stadium.
Thursday morning, a 10-foot statue of Benson was unveiled.
He attributes his commitment to the HOF and the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village to the birth of the NFL originating in Canton.
The new $800 million “smart city” will include:
- Hall of Fame hotel
- Player Care Center
- The Center of Excellence
- Retail and restaurants
The Hall of Fame game is usually played on Sunday but it was switched to Thursday this year.
The enshrinement ceremony is Saturday. Jason Taylor, a University of Akron graduate, is among those being inducted.