An NFL Alumni Academy is set to begin operating in September at Hall of Fame Village Powered by Johnson Controls. Highly rated players who don’t land a spot on an NFL roster will be invited to the academy for additional training and coaching.
CANTON Top graded players who are released from NFL training camps could be coming to the Hall of Fame Village in September.
Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Co., which is developing the Hall of Fame Village Powered by Johnson Controls, announced the inaugural season for the NFL Alumni Academy begins Sept. 21.
The NFL Alumni Association’s Player Development Program will host the academy.
Top graded players will have a chance to develop their skills by training with some of the NFL’s top former coaches and players. Participants invited to the academy will work to be “NFL ready” and await a possible return to an NFL team.
The academy’s staff will communication with all 32 NFL teams to keep them informed for a players progress. Fans will be able to watch development sessions.
Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium will serve as headquarters for the Alumni Association and the academy. The stadium also will serve as a training facility as the academy gets started.
Eventually plans are for the academy to move to the Center for Performance, a 138,000-square-foot facility that will be part of the village. The building is set to open in 2022 and will feature an 80,000-square-foot indoor field house and training facility.
“Through this program partnership, we are able to work with the NFL Alumni Association’s Academy to support NFL teams’ player personnel needs while also developing onsite original content centered around America’s most popular sport,” Michael Crawford HOF Village president and chief executive officer, said in a press release announcing the program.
The academy creates another avenue for the company to grow and expand its media division and diversify its revenue streams, Crawford said. Meanwhile, football fans benefit by having a chance to engage with the game, he added.
Dean Dalton, a former assistant coach with the Minnesota Vikings, is the NFL Alumni Academy executive director. Dalton said the academy is designed to provide players with best-in-class coaching, training and development that will help them add value when they step onto any NFL roster.
Details about coaches and players who will be involved with the academy will be released later, as will information explaining how fans will be able to engage.
Construction if the center for performance is part of the second phase for developing Hall of Fame Village. The Constellation Center for Excellence, a football-themed water park, top scale hotel and retail district also are part of the second phase.
Work started in early August to clear houses west of the Hall of Fame to open space for the new buildings.