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Hall of Fame

Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement: Details, dates, coverage and more

What is the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is a museum and attraction that opened in 1963 as the home of all things professional football. The Hall of Fame "pays tribute to the talents and triumphs of pro football's greatest legends," according to its official website, chronicling within its walls "the stories and circumstances of play that bring to life words such as courage, dedication, vision, fair play, integrity and excellence."

Where is the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton, Ohio, birthplace of the NFL. The league was founded at a Hupmobile dealership in Canton in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, which was later renamed the National Football League.

The NFL chose Canton, which played such a prominent role in establishing the league's roots, as the site for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1961. The town was home to the Canton Bulldogs, an early pro football power that featured the sport's first superstar, Jim Thorpe. Ground was broken for the original Hall of Fame construction on Aug. 11, 1962, and it officially opened on Sept. 7, 1963. It has since undergone multiple expansions and celebrated the completed renovation of its on-site field (Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium) in 2016.

Why is it called the Pro Football Hall of Fame and not the NFL Hall of Fame?

The Pro Football Hall of Fame was established to honor the legacies of all participants in professional football, covering the NFL, the leagues that preceded the NFL and those that have existed outside of the NFL. In order to properly preserve the history of the game and advance it further, the Hall of Fame chooses not to confine itself to the events that have occurred within the NFL.

Who selects new Pro Football Hall of Fame members?

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee consists of one media representative from each pro football city (with two each from New York and Los Angeles, as each of those cities are home to two NFL teams). There are up to 17 at-large selectors who are active members of the media or persons intricately involved in professional football, as well as one representative of the Pro Football Writers of America. The committee does not adhere to a set number of new enshrinees, but current ground rules stipulate the committee chooses between four and eight new members for enshrinement each year.

Who is eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame's website, "any fan may nominate any Player, Coach or Contributor who has been connected with pro football simply by writing to the Pro Football Hall of Fame at 2121 George Halas Drive NW, Canton, OH 44702." Players and coaches must be retired for at least five years before they can be considered as modern-era nominees. Also, there are separate categories/rules for Contributor and Senior candidates.

Each year, the Hall of Fame's Selection Committee will be polled multiple times before the final list of modern-era player nominees is determined. The first vote reduces the list of nominees (usually around 120 initially) to a semifinalist group of 25 before it is further narrowed down to 15 modern-era finalists (in addition to three recommended nominees from the Hall's Coach, Contributor and Senior Committees). At an annual, in-person meeting before the Super Bowl, the Selection Committee further whittles down the list following a thorough discussion of each finalist. Ultimately, a finalist must receive at least 80 percent approval from committee members to be elected into the Hall of Fame.

How many people are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

There are 362 members enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. That number will increase to 371 with this year's ceremony.

Is there a difference between induction and enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

The two terms have similar meanings, but the Hall of Fame has long used enshrinement to describe its process of welcoming new members into the hallowed halls in Canton at the annual ceremony.

How is each enshrinee honored at the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

The new class of enshrinees is officially announced during NFL Honors, the league's annual awards show, which is held during the week leading up to the Super Bowl. The process continues with measurements for bronze busts made in each enshrinee's likeness for display in the Hall of Fame's bust gallery, a room that displays every bust for every member, organized by enshrinement class. Also, new enshrinees are measured for their trademark gold jackets, which are custom made by Haggar and are officially presented during the Gold Jacket Dinner held annually at the Canton Civic Center on the eve of the enshrinement ceremony. Each person from the new class is honored and gives a speech during the enshrinement ceremony.

Who is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023?

The Class of 2023 is comprised of eight players and one coach:

  • Ronde Barber, cornerback
  • Darrelle Revis, cornerback
  • Joe Thomas, offensive tackle
  • Zach Thomas, linebacker
  • DeMarcus Ware, outside linebacker
  • Don Coryell, coach (contributor)
  • Chuck Howley, linebacker (senior)
  • Joe Klecko, defensive lineman (senior)
  • Ken Riley, cornerback (senior)

When is the 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremony?

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023 Enshrinement will take place at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, beginning at noon ET on Saturday, Aug. 5.

How can I watch the 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame speeches?

Fans can watch the 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement on NFL Network and ESPN.

What else happens during Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week?

The Cleveland Browns and New York Jets will meet in the Hall of Fame Game, the first preseason game of the year, at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, Aug. 3. The game will be played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton and will be broadcast on NBC and Peacock.

There are events in Canton throughout the week, including a youth football camp, a fashion show, autograph sessions, the aforementioned Gold Jacket Dinner, a grand parade and a concert featuring Zac Brown Band.

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