Dallas to Steal College Football Hall of Fame?

You know what to me sounds desperate? When you say that we need a convention center hotel in order to lure the College Football Hall of Fame out of South Bend, Indiana (full release after the jump). Three things: 1) I spent four years in South Bend. It shouldn’t be hard to lure anything that doesn’t have an “ND” on it out of that city. 2) In my four years there, I didn’t once visit the CFHF. Nor did a single visitor of my acquaintance inquire about it. And 3) really? That’s why we need a convention center hotel?


Today Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert joined Roger Staubach, T. Boone Pickens, Deion Sanders and other leaders to launch a bid to bring the College Football Hall of Fame to Downtown Dallas.

The College Football Hall of Fame is currently in South Bend, Indiana. But City leaders feel a gateway city like Dallas is a better fit.

“Bringing the College Football Hall of Fame here will be a game changer – a game changer for the Hall of Fame, a game changer for Downtown Dallas,” said Mayor Leppert.

The Mayor says Dallas can give the Hall of Fame a higher profile and boost attendance. And for Dallas, the Hall of Fame – which would be built adjacent to the Convention Center – would provide the type of attraction that would bring more conventions and tourists to Downtown. Projections are for 400,000 visitors in the first year.

Mayor Leppert says the proposal has been in the works for a year, and having the Convention Center Hotel would provide a critical boost for the bid.

“Is it a done deal? No. We are going to have to work hard,” said Mayor Leppert. “But clearly we would not be pursuing this unless we had a good sense from our conversations that success was possible.”

A task force to go after the Hall of Fame will be led by John F. Crawford, President and CEO of DOWNTOWNDALLAS; and Tom Hansen, President of TM Advertising.

“The revitalization of Downtown is exciting, and we want to be a part of it. That’s the major reason we relocated back to Downtown Dallas in 2008, just blocks from where the agency was founded in 1934,” said Hansen.”We’ve worked with our strategic planning, media, events and sponsorship teams here to create a dynamic new business plan that will help make the new College Football Hall of Fame a truly immersive experience that celebrates the game’s rich history, embraces its glorious heroes and eloquently tells their stories, while welcoming its future with open arms.

The task force plans to privately raise 100 percent of the necessary funds to build, relocate and launch the new Hall.

“Bringing the College Football Hall of Fame to Dallas is a perfect example of the economic development momentum we are experiencing in Downtown today,” said Crawford. “It represents a glimpse of the kind of hub Downtown is becoming, and the incremental growth potential for cultural, retail and hospitality attractions that will be a strong complement to the convention business.”


  • Casie Pierce

    Funny how people read things into things. Mayor Leppert has had nothing to do with this- it was the brainchild of a prominent local businessman. He knows a bunch of other prominent businessmen and he got them all to become interested in his idea and they started looking for locations in Downtown and raising funds. Of course Leppert is out stumping for the Convention Center Hotel and anytime he’s behind a microphone and in front of a crowd, he’ll find a way to work in the hotel.

  • GuiltyBystander

    Ever since the National Football Foundation moved its HQ from New Jersey to Las Colinas, the idea of the College FB HOF moving to the Dallas area has been inevitable.

  • Jimbo

    As a former Domer myself, I agree it shouldn’t be hard to lure anything from the Bend, but this really sounds like a stretch to me…

    Now if we could just move the Backer and/or Coach’s down here I’d be much happier.

    Maybe Leppert’s massive hands could scoop up the HOF and gently place it in Dallas in one fell swoop.

  • louis

    Pish Posh.

    Wait until Jerry puts in a bid and proposes to move it to Arlington. *Then* it will be a done deal.

  • Rumor has it that T-Lep was giving a speech on the benefits of Summer’s Eve to a group of Masengill shareholders when he dropped the CCH bomb. Something about how the City of Dallas would be 20% fresher if we could only get the CCH built!

  • Dallasite

    You’d think that they’d relocate it to a city that has a college football team.

  • Smokey Joe

    Cancel the Bush Library and build the HOF there instead.

  • Dallas pasties

    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha…Now just when is Mayor Tom appearing on Last Comic Standing because he’s bleedin’ hilarious?

  • Dear Tim

    Dear Tim,

    I wish you would have been as incredulous about Trinity tollway as you are the convention hotel. Actually, I wish you would have at least stated an opinion about the parkway.

  • Investor

    The best place for the college football hall of fame would be in Canton,Ohio, next to the pro football hall of fame.

  • Casie Pierce