The National Football Foundation plans to pack up the memorabilia and take the College Football Hall of Fame from South Bend to Atlanta.
For the past 14 years, it’s been located just a couple of miles from the campus of one of the most storied programs in all of sports. Being close to Notre Dame wasn’t enough for the College Football Hall of Fame, though.
The City of South Bend, Indiana has received notice from the National Football Foundation that they are terminating the agreement for operation of the Hall, which has been located in the city’s downtown since 1995.
“I have deep respect and appreciation for the work that the staff of the Hall has done creating a great attraction in South Bend," said mayor Steven Luecke. "The various functions have added vitality and helped enhance the downtown as a destination location. This year’s Enshrinement Festival was the best ever.”
Why the move to Atlanta? Big bucks. The National Football Foundation has apparently lined up several corporate sponsors including the SEC and ACC and they’re also ready to write a $50 million check.
“I am deeply disappointed in the NFF’s decision," said Luecke. "The Hall of Fame has been a great asset for our community, providing national exposure and contributing to the revitalization of downtown. It has also been an asset for the NFF, providing a world class facility to celebrate the players, the coaches and the history of college football.”
"Over the next few months the City will work through a transition plan with the NFF for the Hall. The Second Interim Agreement runs through 2010, but we will consider an earlier closing date. We will also come to terms on removing exhibits and artifacts from the facility so it will be ready for a new use."
Watch more on the story and get a peek inside from South Bend’s NFC affiliate WNDU.