CANTON (News Talk 1480 WHBC) – 99 years ago on this date the National Football League was born in Canton. Now, with the leagues centennial right around the corner, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced some special plans for the game’s 100th birthday. One year from now the city of Canton will be in the midst of a four day extravaganza, which is planned to take place between September 16-20.
The tentative schedule for the celebration kicks off on Wednesday, Sept. 16 with the Centennial Celebration Gala, a black-tie event that will include the enshrinement of some of the members from the historic Centennial Class that will be comprised of 20 members.
The Class of 2020 will include five Modern-Era players, 10 Seniors (a player who has been retired for more than 25 seasons), three Contributors (an individual other than a player or coach) and two Coaches. In addition, the All-Century Awards will be presented during the gala.
Thousands will fill downtown Canton on Thursday, Sept. 17 to celebrate the NFL’s 100th birthday. A special dedication for Centennial Plaza is planned for the national broadcast of the Week 2 Thursday night game with an anticipated television cut-away to Canton for the ceremony.
Community leaders raised $12 million to build Centennial Plaza as a tribute to the NFL’s founding in Canton. Highlighted in the two-block attraction will be special monuments that include the inscription of the more than 25,000 players who competed in the NFL’s first 100 years.
A Centennial Spectacular is slated for Friday night at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium as the opening ceremony for the NFL’s next century. An Olympic-like parade of the NFL Legends into the venue will be followed by a variety of entertainment including performances by major music acts that will be announced soon.
The four-day celebration will wrap up on Saturday, Sept. 19 with a community day that will include Hall of Famers and NFL Legends on hand at regional high school games to provide the sport’s next generation with inspiration and hope for the future.