Johnson Controls Partners on Football Hall of Fame Village

The completion of the Village in 2019 will coincide with the NFL’s 100th season.

By Gail Kalinoski

Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton, Ohio, rendering
Johnston Controls Hall of Fame Village, Canton, Ohio, rendering

Canton, Ohio—Johnson Controls is teaming up with Hall of Fame Village LLC—a partnership between the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Los Angeles-based Industrial Realty Group—to create the first “smart city” sports and entertainment venue as part of an 18-year, multi-million naming rights deal.

In a plan that is now estimated to cost nearly $600 million, The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, is developing a Hall of Fame Village around its museum and the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. The project will include nine components including renovations to the museum and stadium. The other parts of the project, expected to be completed in 2019, will be a four-star hotel and conference center, sports performance center, a Center for Excellence training and educational facility, youth sports complex, an assisted living facility, restaurants, retail and the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Experience, which will be a $120 million virtual reality attraction and amusement park.

Johnson Controls, a Milwaukee-based global energy and technology company that creates intelligent buildings, efficient energy solutions and integrated infrastructure to support “smart cities,” was given naming rights to the overall project, the virtual reality attraction and the annual Hall of Fame enshrinement festival. The price paid for the naming rights deal was not made public but the Canton Repository newspaper quoted unnamed sources saying it was a nine-figure deal. The company would only said that the agreement ranks in the top 80 percentile of sports naming rights and is the largest ever for the market size.

“This historic agreement will ensure that the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village will be the first ‘smart’ sports and entertainment city and will serve to inspire generations of fans as a showcase for state-of-the-art technology products and services to deliver world-class fan experiences,” Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker said in a prepared statement.

A professional services contract calls for Johnson Controls products, services and solutions to be used within the village, including the museum. Johnson Controls will provide building management systems, HVAC equipment, fire and security systems and other technology to yield operational cost savings.

“Our innovative, integrated technologies will provide the right combination of safety and security at the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village in an environment that demonstrates how we connect ‘cities’ that run smartly and reliably,” Kim Metcalf-Kupres, vice president and chief marketing officer at Johnson Controls, said in a prepared statement.

Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Trustees President Randy Hunt called the partnership “historic and far-reaching,” adding that it would have a positive impact not only on the project but on the game of football and the community of Canton.

Baker told the Canton Repository that the hope is that Johnson Controls plan to build the first smart sports and entertainment city would “encompass not only Hall of Fame Village, but potentially a lot more of Canton.”

The completion of the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village in 2019 will coincide with the NFL’s 100th season and subsequent centennial celebration in 2020. The village is the largest project under construction in Ohio and will be a top tourist destination when completed. It is expected to have an economic impact on the region of at least $15.3 billion in its first 25 years.

Image courtesy of Pro Football Hall of Fame