The Hall of Fame festivities have taken place in Canton for over 50 years with only two cancelations of the event ever — until now.

The canceled festivities include: the Hall of Fame parade, the enshrinement ceremony, the balloon classic, the fashion show, beer fest and concert that ends the week of events.

Jerzee's, a sports bar down the street from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, is often very busy during the week of the annual Hall of Fame festivities. 

"It's devastating to the whole community," Erin Dotson, a manager at Jerzee's, said. "I understand it and get it, but it's still going to be devastating."

hall of fame

Erin Dotson, a manager at Jerzee's in Canton. 

Several of the servers working at Jerzee’s said this is going to impact their personal income as many rely on the business influx of those attending the Hall of Fame festivities. Cleveland 19 News was at Jerzee’s interviewing Scotty Paskoff, the district manager, on June 25 when the decision was made to cancel the events. Dotson said they already had one news station there in the morning and expected several more by the time the day was done.

The Hall of Fame festivities bring in an abundance of revenue for the city. 

"The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival including Enshrinement Week, Powered by Johnson Controls, annually produces an economic impact of $40 million for the Canton/Stark County region and $65 million for the state of Ohio," Joanne Murray, vice president of community events and sponsorships at the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, said.

The Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce was working with organizers and the Pro Football Hall of Fame to come up with a solution before canceling the events but could not find a good solution that would keep everyone safe while still following state guidelines in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Next year, there are plans to hold the 2020 enshrinement separate from the 2021 enshrinement ceremony, and all tickets purchased for this year’s canceled event will still be good for next year.

Contact Nicole Harness at nhawkin2@kent.edu.

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