Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame Marks Sixth Anniversary in Atlanta
The Hall has become a national platform for celebrating the game and its greatest legends.
IRVING, Texas (Aug. 25, 2020) – The National Football Foundation (NFF) highlighted today the sixth anniversary of the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame, which opened Aug. 23, 2014 in Atlanta.
Redefining the concept of a traditional museum with cutting-edge technology, the building has drawn universal praise for creating a guest experience that rises to the occasion of paying tribute to the game’s greatest legends while engaging fans with a unique range of compelling exhibits and events.
“Downtown Atlanta has proven to be the perfect setting for the Hall and the city, and people from all over the country have embraced our home in Atlanta as a major epicenter for college football,” said Archie Manning, the chairman of the NFF, which launched the Hall in 1951 and partnered with the city of Atlanta to raise the money and open the Hall in 2014. “The Hall continues to surpass everybody’s expectations, and the team in Atlanta continues to find new ways to create meaningful experiences for fans.”
The Hall measures 94,256 square feet, including 50,000 square feet of exhibit space and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Field, a 45-yard indoor playing turf. The attraction offers a total “Fan Experience” matching traditional, museum-quality memorabilia with interactive, multimedia exhibits that invite fans and visitors to engage with their favorite college football team or Hall of Famer.
Fans are given an RFID-enabled All-Access Pass as they enter the building and are immediately greeted by the three-story helmet wall representing all 768 U.S. colleges and universities with football teams. Once registered, a fan’s RFID All-Access Pass lights up their school’s helmet on the wall. As fans explore the rest of the building, the RFID badge continues to pull and display information about their school throughout their tour.
“The reaction from fans who have traveled from all over the country to visit the Hall continues to exceed our expectations,” said A.J. Robinson, chairman of the Atlanta Hall Management Board of Directors, which oversees the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame. “The Hall has truly become a national platform for college football and a great showcase for Atlanta. We are extremely grateful for the support from the National Football Foundation and our founding partners and official sponsors, without whom this project would not be possible.”
The Hall, behind the leadership of College Football Hall of Fame CEO Kimberly Beaudin, has been a prime space for private events in Atlanta, annually hosting more than 250. The Hall hosted SEC Media Days in 2018, attracting more than 300 media outlets and thousands of fans, and multiple high-profile events during the Super Bowl LIII week in 2019. Additionally, “The Home Depot College Football Awards” has aired live for the past five consecutive years from the Hall as part of a multi-year agreement with ESPN.
In the unprecedented times created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hall of Fame closed in mid-March, and it reopened July 1, welcoming guests with new safety guidelines that include mask requirements, frequent cleaning and social-distancing protocols throughout the 95,000 square-foot facility.
“We are extremely proud of the Hall,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “A lot of wonderful people from Atlanta have worked incredibly hard to make it a destination for those living in the community as well as fans visiting from all around the country. While the entire country faces a pandemic today, we know that the future remains bright for the Hall because of all the great leaders who have made it a reality. A big thanks to everybody who has played a role.”
Having inducted its ¬ first class in 1951, the Hall represents the highest level of achievement for players and coaches, and the facility plays a central role in the National Football Foundation’s mission by dramatizing the history of the game in such a way as to inspire young people to excellence throughout their lives. Steps from the newly completed Mercedes Benz Stadium, the Hall has added to an already thriving sports, entertainment and tourism district in Atlanta, attracting hundreds of thousands of fans each year.
• All of the nation’s 768 football-playing schools are represented on a dramatic helmet wall.
• More than 250 annual events.
• Annual fan event for the presentation of the National Football Foundation’s MacArthur Bowl Trophy to the national championship team’s head coach.
• The Hall’s archives contain more than one million artifacts, dating back to the 1870s with more than 1,500 items currently on display, plus another 65,000 pieces of digital content within the Hall’s interactive exhibits.
• “ESPN’s The Home Depot College Football Awards” has aired live from the Hall for five consecutive years as part of a multi-year agreement with ESPN to annually host the event.
History and Hall Facts:
• Founded in 1947, the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame inducted its first class in 1951.
• More than 5.41 million student-athletes have played college football since the first game on Nov. 6, 1869.
• Including the 2020 Hall of Fame class, only 1,027 players and 221 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly 5.4 million who have played or coached the game during the past 151 years. In other words, less than two one-hundredths of a percent (.02%) of the individuals who have played the game have earned this distinction.
• 314 schools are represented with at least one Hall of Famer.
• First class of inductees included notables Red Grange (Illinois), Knute Rockne (Notre Dame), Duke Slater (Iowa), Amos Alonzo Stagg (four schools) and Jim Thorpe (Carlisle [PA]).
• The 2020 Hall of Fame Class includes 17 First-Team All-America players and two legendary coaches.