Pro Football Hall of Famers to visit Canton, Northeast Ohio during Residency Program

Hall of Famers Published on : 3/28/2024
  • Hall launching weekly endeavor as innovative way to help fulfill mission of ‘Honoring Greatest of Game’

Guests never know who they might meet when they visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame — “Football Heaven” — in Canton.

In the Hall of Fame’s 61-year history, that maxim always has been true. Players, coaches and contributors who comprise the membership of the most elite team in sports visit their “second home” for such reasons as speaking engagements, educational programs and other appearances. Guests fortunate enough to cross paths with the Hall of Famers on those occasions take with them an added lifelong memory from their trip to Canton.

The frequency and consistency of those special encounters will rise to a new level in 2024, as the Pro Football Hall of Fame today announced the launching of an innovative “Hall of Famer Residency Program.”

The initiative will bring 28 enshrinees to Canton for several days each time on a near-weekly basis from early April through November. Much of the visiting enshrinee's time in Canton will be spent inside the museum, greeting guests and sharing his experiences and inspirational stories from the game with the fans who visit the Hall from across the country.

Class of 2022 member LeROY BUTLER, credited with creating the “Lambeau Leap,” will serve as the first resident, with his visit to Canton beginning April 3. TIM BROWN, JOE DeLAMIELLEURE, JOE KLECKO, DONNIE SHELL and LYNN SWANN also have confirmed their “residencies” this spring.

“I have observed time and again that when a Hall of Famer is present, the atmosphere becomes more exciting, more engaging and more inspiring,” said Jim Porter, president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Outside of the encounters in the museum, the Hall of Famers also will engage with residents of Stark County and the Northeast Ohio region by visiting local schools, nonprofit organizations, service groups, hospitals and civic organizations.

Opportunities to engage with local businesses at their workplace or in a meeting space at the Pro Football Hall of Fame are also possible.

Encounters in the museum could involve the Hall of Famer leading tours or providing insight during group presentations or visiting the Hall of Fame Gallery. Each enshrinee will bring his own twist to his residency.

This new program supports the Hall’s efforts to fulfill its Mission to “Honor the Greatest of the Game, Preserve its History, Promote its Values & Celebrate Excellence Together.”

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