Fawcett Stadium's new press box opened


The Canton City Schools Board of Education and the Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Trustees held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday to mark the completion of the new Fawcett Stadium press box.

The new press box is the most recent modernization project at the nationally acclaimed high school stadium that serves as the venue for the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony and the NFL’s Pro Football Hall of Fame Game.

On hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony were former Canton resident and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Dan Dierdorf and ESPN College Football Analyst and a native of North Canton, Ohio Todd Blackledge, who also serves on the Hall’s Board of Trustees. Joining Dierdorf and Blackledge at the symbolic opening ceremony were representatives of the Canton City Schools and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

PHOTO GALLERY: See images of the press box construction and today's ribbon-cutting ceremony.  Launch Gallery>>>

Fawcett Stadium is widely regarded as the #1 high school football stadium in the country. However, the need for a new press box became increasingly evident as the overall structural condition, the lack of technology, and its size limitation left it inadequate for the needs of the national media corps that covers the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony and the NFL/Hall of Fame Game as well as other nationally prominent events held in the stadium.

“For many years we have had a great and mutually beneficial partnership with the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the greater Canton community, stated Canton City Schools Superintendent, Michele Evans-Gardell. “Members of the Canton City School Board of Education and Administration are grateful to the Hall of Fame and others who participated in the campaign to provide the funds for this project.”
Dierdorf, a Canton native and Chairman of the Pro Football Hall of Fame National Fundraising Campaign, said, “I’m very glad to see this impressive improvement, because I know from personal experience in broadcasting the NFL/Hall of Fame Game, this new press box is essential to meet the requirements of the national media.”

Hall of Fame President/Executive Director Steve Perry emphasized the positive economic impact the new press box will have. “There is a great return on this investment in the value of the national exposure and the tangible economic benefits received by the people of Canton and Stark County and the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a result of the nationally prominent events held in Fawcett Stadium,” Perry offered. “Having the annual Enshrinement Ceremony and NFL/Hall of Fame Game in Fawcett Stadium, right next door to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is a very important part of what makes the entire Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival so spectacular.”

Fawcett Stadium opened in 1938 and has been the site of many legendary and historic football games between local rivals and contenders for the Ohio High School Athletic Association championship crown. The first touchdown in the historic stadium was scored by future Pro Football Hall of Famer and Canton McKinley High School football star Marion Motley.

The $3.4 million project was funded by support from local foundations, local businesses, national businesses; and state, county, and city grants.


Two Floors at 1,320 SF per floor Two floors at 4,385 SF per floor
Wood Construction Steel, Concrete and Masonry Construction
Former Seating Capacity New Seating Capacity
First Floor: 78 First Floor: 204
    Press Area: 172
    4 Radio Rooms: 32
Second Floor: 48 Second Floor Calculated Occupancy: 152
    VIP Suites (2) at 20: 40
    Commissioner Room: 14
    Instant Replay Room: 14
    Coaches Rooms (2) at (15): 30
    Production Room: 30
    Network Room: 24
Roof Occupancy: 26 Roof Calculated occupancy: 124

Technology added
The Fawcett Stadium press box was constructed utilizing the latest technology. Some of the enhancements include:

HD ready: all of the infrastructure is certified to carry high definition video
Stats interface to video that have a real-time interface to the statistics software to allow operators to very quickly update and present player, team, and game statistics to the audience via the video wall
Digital audio mixing and distribution system
Computer network/phone drops at every seat location in the press box
Wireless access to the network
Digital phone system


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