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Renovations at the Hall of Fame game stadium are being delayed
The minor setback will allow the Hall of Fame trustees to work with local community groups and governments to raise more money
Story by TERRELL JOHNSON


 
Plans to demolish and replace the north stands at Fawcett Stadium won't begin August 11 as originally planned.
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After months of speculation and fundraising, plans to renovate Fawcett Stadium are being delayed.

Hall of Fame President David Baker says the extensive renovations will not begin until after the end of the high-school football season, though some safety issues will be addressed before the Hall of Fame festival begins in two weeks.

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“We would never allow fans to sit in any stadium that’s unsafe. So it’s not unsafe, but it is an issue that if we don’t begin to address now, it will be unsafe in the future. If you can’t have the Hall of Fame game or the enshrinement there, then that’s going to damage all the good things that are true of Canton and the region.”

He says the state has committed $10 million to the project. Baker says he expects donations from Stark County, the city of Canton and private foundations.

Baker says basic upgrades alone will cost about $25 million. 

LISTEN: Baker fawcett stadium
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(0:22)

“It started out of safety purposes, but now were looking at a master plan that says, ‘How can we take this once-in-a lifetime opportunity to redo it?’ Not just for football but potentially for other uses that can benefit the community. Either by providing return for the public good or potentially generating other revenue.”

He says the master plan could help with his push to have the Pro Football Hall of Fame host the 2019 NFL draft.

The project is expected to begin in December. 

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