college football hall of fame

New College Football Hall of Fame Opens in Atlanta

October 16, 2014

Fall Saturday mornings aren’t complete without a giant mascot head landing on Lee Corso’s shoulders behind the desk of College GameDay Built by The Home Depot. The call never fails to stir up rivalry spirit as college football fans anticipate which mascot head will be pulled out for the pick.

What if, instead of guessing, you were the one making the call?

Now’s your chance.

As a sponsor of the new College Football Hall of Fame, Home Depot is not only supporting the mission of the National Football Foundation, but also helping to provide a one-of-a-kind, authentic experience for fans to sit behind the ESPN College GameDay desk. One of many personalized, interactive exhibits, the set lets fans see what it’s like to sit in between Chris Fowler and Desmond Howard to announce a winning team prediction.

We sat down with Brad Olecki, executive vice president of the College Football Hall of Fame, to learn more about the new, interactive experience and Home Depot’s role in bringing the Hall of Fame and College GameDay set to life.

Tell us about the College Football Hall of Fame. How is the new attraction different?

The College Football Hall of Fame inducted its first class in 1951 and is part of the National Football Foundation, an organization that builds leaders through football.

For the new Hall of Fame, we built an attraction, making it more than just a hall with plaques and busts. We set out to build something that could be a showcase for college football and created this 95,000-square-foot facility where fans get to experience game day every day.

What did you do to make this experience more than plaques and busts?

We’ve built a total immersion into all things college football.

When you set foot in the building, you can register your All-Access Pass to identify you as a fan of your specific school. As you approach experiences throughout the Hall, the exhibits recognize you, and your school’s content will appear.

From putting your mascot’s head on at the ESPN College GameDay Built by The Home Depot experience to making a game-time decision in the Call the Play booth, the new Hall of Fame lets fans interact directly with the thrills and traditions of the game.

What is your favorite experience in the new Hall of Fame?

The helmet wall at the entrance of the facility is definitely one of my favorites. There are 768 schools that play college football, and all of them are represented on that helmet wall.

One of the most popular experiences in the Hall, and one of my favorites as well, is the set of ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot. The Home Depot team helped bring one of the iconic moments of college football to life, and being able to deliver that experience to our fans is paramount. It by far has the longest lines, since everyone wants that chance to put on their team’s mascot head behind the desk.

Why did the Hall decide to make Atlanta its new home?

College football has become somewhat of a religion in the south with Atlanta being the heart of ACC and SEC country. Atlanta has many well-established college football games scheduled, including the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, the Bank of America Football Classic, the SEC Championship and now the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, which is part of the playoff system. All these things made Atlanta a great location for the Hall.

What are your hopes for the new Hall of Fame?

We want people to come in and realize it’s not just what happens on the field on Saturdays. It’s the life lessons learned by student-athletes through the game and the leadership training they get from their coaches, teammates and administrators. This is our opportunity to showcase the sport and tell the story of why football matters.

From historic moments to legendary individuals, check out how the new Hall of Fame came to life and what interactive opportunities await inside.

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