Can’t come to The Pro Football Hall of Fame? No problem. They’ll come to you. The Hall has announced the largest traveling exhibition in its 50 year history. Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, will make stops in several cities and include more than 200 momentos from the Hall’s collection. Barry Sanders, one of many legendary stars featured in the exhibit, will serve as Gridiron Glory’s national ambassador.
The 5,000 square-foot interactive multimedia exhibit will include the iconic Vince Lombardi Trophy, select showings of original Hall of Fame busts, new material from NFL Films, never-before-seen artifacts, immersive fan experiences and specially-designed “Hometown Tribute” sections to spotlight the local team. There will also be educational programming, an on-site retail element and Hall of Famers themselves will make special appearances throughout its run.
Gridiron Glory will debut in Pittsburgh at the Heinz History Center beginning on Saturday, Oct. 6, followed by a Super Bowl XLVII stint at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, stops in St. Louis, Detroit and then onto New York/New Jersey for the Super Bowl XLVIII in Feb. 2014, with additional NFL markets to be announced. The exhibit will be hosted by many of the nation’s top cultural, educational and sports venues and spend between three to six months in each city.
“We’re always looking for new and innovative ways to extend the experience of the Hall of Fame beyond our walls in Canton,” said Joe Horrigan, Vice President-Communications/Exhibits at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “Gridiron Glory is designed to galvanize fans in a compelling way and provides a perfect platform for us to reach new audiences.”
“When the Hall of Fame approached me about Gridiron Glory, I knew I had to be involved,” said Sanders, who was enshrined in 2004. “I have a great amount of respect for the history of the game and this exhibit will really open people’s eyes. I know it did mine.”
Among the hundreds of Pro Football Hall of Fame artifacts on display will be Sanders’ game worn jersey from 1997 when he became only the third player in history to break the 2,000-yard rushing mark. Also on exhibit will be one of the Hall of Fame’s rarest documents, the 1892 accounting ledger from football’s first paid player that is regarded as pro football’s “birth certificate.” A sampling of other mementos on exhibit in Gridiron Glory include:
Vince Lombardi Trophy
Authentic interactive instant replay booth
Knute Rockne’s 1919 Massillon Tigers helmet
Jim Brown’s game worn jersey
Jerry Rice’s career touchdown receptions record football
Emmitt Smith’s rushing record game artifacts
Drew Brees’ 5,000-yard passing record jersey