Another jewel in the crown of Atlanta's uber-important tourism industry (it's worth many billions to the region annually) inched closer to reality this week. Three years ago, the National Football Foundation decided it'd be wise to uproot the College Football Hall of Fame from Southbend, Ind., where attendance was slipping as Charlie Weis expanded, to the ATL, the beating heart of college football fervor. Then the Recession nearly sacked those plans, sucking the life from vital fundraising efforts via sponsorships and bank loans.
But last month, the AJC reported that hall leaders were closing in on the $66 million needed to build the modernistic facility — basically next door to STATS, and around the corner from the Georgia Aquarium. This week the paper tracked down the president and CEO of the NFF, fresh from a meeting with hall spearheads, who said, "I think it's fair to say that all systems are go." Next step: Finalize architectural drawings and set a groundbreaking date. Opening is envisioned for late 2014.
· NFF: 'All systems are go' for College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta [AJC]