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CANTON, OHIO – The Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Canton community are preparing to celebrate the National Football League’s actual 100th birthday one year from today. A once-in-every-other-lifetime extravaganza, that is following the NFL’s year-long celebration of the 100th season in 2019, is planned for Sept. 16-20, 2020. The celebration is expected to feature reunions of NFL Legends, performances by mega performers from the music world and a special Centennial Class Enshrinement will take place to commemorate the NFL’s founding in downtown Canton on Sept. 17, 1920, and to also kick off the league’s next century.

A focus of the Centennial Celebration is to pay tribute to all the individuals who helped make the NFL an integral part of America’s fabric. Today, Pro Football Hall of Fame President & CEO David Baker extended an invitation to every living NFL Legend to join the celebration in what is being described as the “biggest gathering in pro football ever.” Reunions of each of the NFL teams are planned during the event whereby players and staff from each club can reunite.

“This great Game was built on the shoulders of the NFL Legends who represent values like commitment, integrity, courage, respect, and excellence,” Baker stated. “We will shine the spotlight on these virtues that not only makes someone great on the football field but can also teach us all how to live a ‘Hall of Fame life’ of character. This celebration will have a huge impact on our country.”

The tentative schedule for the celebration kicks off on Wednesday, Sept. 16 with the Centennial Celebration Gala, a black-tie event that will include the enshrinement of some of the members from the historic Centennial Class that will be comprised of 20 members. The Class of 2020 will include five Modern-Era players, 10 Seniors (a player who has been retired for more than 25 seasons), three Contributors (an individual other than a player or coach) and two Coaches. In addition, the All-Century Awards will be presented during the gala.

Thousands will fill downtown Canton on Thursday, Sept. 17 to celebrate the NFL’s 100th birthday. A special dedication for Centennial Plaza is planned for the national broadcast of the Week 2 Thursday night game with an anticipated television cut-away to Canton for the ceremony. Community leaders raised $12 million to build Centennial Plaza as a tribute to the NFL’s founding in Canton. Highlighted in the two-block attraction will be special monuments that include the inscription of the more than 25,000 players who competed in the NFL’s first 100 years.

A Centennial Spectacular is slated for Friday night at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium as the opening ceremony for the NFL’s next century. An Olympic-like parade of the NFL Legends into the venue will be followed by a variety of entertainment including performances by major music acts that will be announced soon.

The four-day celebration will wrap up on Saturday, Sept. 19 with a community day that will include Hall of Famers and NFL Legends on hand at regional high school games to provide the sport’s next generation with inspiration and hope for the future.

More information about the Centennial Celebration can be found online at www.CantonCelebratesNFL100.com or @CantonCelebratesNFL100 on Instagram and @Canton_NFL100 on Twitter.

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