Downtown Atlanta’s newest attraction, the College Football Hall of Fame is now open for business.
Media day was Wednesday, other dignitaries and officials have been given the tour, but Saturday, the first test was passed. Fans, many waiting in line, burst through the doors and started enjoying this high tech playground that honors everyone that has played college football.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was at Saturday’s opening and with the blow of a whistle fans began pouring into the three-story facility a short walk from the Georgia Dome and Centennial Olympic Park.
The first thing fans will encounter is a giant wall of 768 helmets.
That is one for every program in America.
Visitors will register once they enter the hall and receive a smart pass that includes an RFID chip that stores your information on it- including your favorite school.
That allows you to get a personalized and interactive experience as you walk the floors of the Hall.
The new attraction allows fans to test their football skills on an indoor, 45-yard field, run pass routes, kick field goals and even make a game-saving tackle.
“This facility is the new age of hall of fames,” said Kevin Butler, the only kicker among the 948 players in the College Football Hall of Fame.
Those walking through the doors seemed to agree.
Big smiles were on the faces of both young and old.
The gift shop was doing brisk business.
The Hall of Fame includes displays on tailgating, uniforms and the evolution of shoulder pads, interactive video screens and tributes to Hall of Fame members including quarterbacks Fran Tarkenton, Archie Manning and Doug Flutie.
Fans can get their faces painted. virtually. They can also sit in with Chris Fowler and Desmond Howard on the set of ESPN College Gameday, make radio calls of famous plays and see some of the most valuable sports artifacts in existence.
I don’t want to ruin all of the fun and the surprises for visitors, but don’t miss the 10-minute 4K movie on the second floor that highlights clips from college football games played in 2013. The sound and video are captivating.
The entrance feel is $19.99 and it’s well worth it.
Come out and see it.