Pro Football Hall of Fame Youth Sports Complex Underway

Kelly Young, CantonRep.com, March 10, 2016 

CANTON, OH--Construction has begun on what Hall of Fame officials hope will make Canton America’s youth football capital. 

Work crews have removed the dugouts, bleachers and the backstop fencing at the baseball diamond on Don Scott Field. This week, a bulldozer pushed mounds of dirt over the diamond’s former infield to make way for a planned amateur football sports complex. The complex, which includes eight youth fields, a championship field with 1,500 seats, and a football-sized concourse area, is part of the $476 million Hall of Fame Village project that began last fall with the renovation of Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

Hall of Fame officials have likened the plans for the youth sports complex to the baseball field complex in Williamsport, Pennsylvania that has become the home of the Little League Baseball World Series.

THREE PHASES

Pete Fierle, chief of staff and vice president of communications for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, said three youth fields — including Don Scott Field, which will be a grass field, and two synthetic turf fields — are expected to be completed by June 1.

Fierle said three additional synthetic turf fields are expected to be installed at the site by May 2017, with the remaining fields developed by May 2018. He said each field will be lighted and equipped with the latest technology, such as video cameras that can film a specific athlete while on the field and then create a video that can be given to the athlete’s parents. Fierle said a project cost estimate was not available.

While the complex is expected to attract large youth football camps, leagues and tournaments, Fierle said it also will be available for field sports such as lacrosse and soccer.

He said LEGACY Global Sports, which was recently hired to handle the booking and programming at the sports complex, already has started booking events for 2016, 2017 and 2018. The New Hampshire-based event management company has said it expects to have national and international events, including championships and tournaments, booked for each weekend from spring through fall.