The Pro Football Hall of Fame unveiled its new Ralph Wilson, Jr. Pro Football Research and Preservation Center this morning. Wilson, the founder of the Buffalo Bills and Class of 2009 enshrinee, attended the formal ribbon-cutting ceremony in front the new state-of-the-art archives that bears his names.
Wilson delighted the crowd with his sincere, and at times humorous, remarks. The audience consisted of more than 80 Hall of Famers in town for the 2012 Enshrinement Festival, VIP guests, and the general public. Joining Wilson on stage for the dedication was his wife Mary, Executive Vice President/Strategic Planning for the Buffalo Bills Mary Owen, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Pro Football Hall of Fame President/Executive Director Steve Perry, Managing Principal of Westlake, Reed and Leskosky Paul Westlake, and Hall of Fame Board of Trustees Chairman Tom Schervish.
“I’m happy to be here today as part of the renovation of the research center and also this expansion which as Steve Perry said is important for the game. For all of you that have made the game, to be able to come back and say I helped build this building and I hope you will all look around and see what’s happened.”
A touching moment came when at the conclusion of the ceremony, each of the returning Hall of Famers in impromptu fashion, formed a long line and individually greeted Wilson.
The Ralph Wilson, Jr. Pro Football Research and Preservation Center houses and preserves more than 20 million document pages and 3 million photographic images in the Hall of Fame’s collection.
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