Sports Journeys: The College Football Hall of Fame
Photo by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey
One of the great ways to get up for the 2023 college football season is to visit the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, GA. The Hall of Fame relocated to Atlanta from South Bend, IN in 2014. This is not your typical museum-type of Hall of Fame filled with busts of college football's greatest players. While college football’s immortals are saluted in the Hall of Fame Rotunda, this venue also offers 52 exhibits and interactive experiences that celebrate, educate, and simulate the experiences college football brings to the country every Saturday.
Your interactive experience starts as soon as you buy your tickets, as you will enter the Hall of Fame through the player's tunnel to the roar of the crowd. The tunnel brings you to the Quad, which includes a three-story wall of more than 770 football helmets from every college football team in the country. A separate wall features a canvas depicting 36 of college football’s greatest plays, players, and coaches. The Quad also includes a registration station where you can register the lanyard you have been provided with your favorite college football team. This will be your key to opening many of the interactive exhibits in the HOF with info on your preferred team.
Next, it is time to check out your football skills at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Field. This is a 45-yard indoor football field set up with stations to test your kicking, running, and passing skills. After you complete your abilities at these stations, you can check out your efforts on the 36-foot-high video boards. The first floor also includes a media wall filled with more than 50,000 pieces of digital content on college football’s greatest players, coaches, and teams.
The second floor contains many interactive exhibits, as well as some of the most valuable trophies associated with college football, including the Heisman Trophy and the College Football Playoffs Championship Trophy. The Fan’s Game Day exhibits take visitors through the many experiences a fan enjoys on a typical Saturday afternoon, including tailgating, pep rallies, and getting hyped up for the game.
Interactive activities include Fight Song Karaoke, where you use your lanyard to pull up your school’s fight song, or you can have your face virtually painted in your team’s colors. Two popular interactive activities are sitting behind the ESPN Gameday desk to pick your team as the winner of that day’s game, and calling a play featuring your team from a virtual press box. The last virtual reality experience on this floor allows you to enter the field of 14 of the top college stadiums in the country.
You will also find several educational exhibits on the second floor. These include the evolution of football equipment, football’s greatest rivalries, and salutes to the football programs at America’s service academies and the HCBUs located around the country.
The top floor contains the Hall of Fame Rotunda. The rotunda features glass walls with the names of all the inductees to the College Football Hall of Fame by the year they were inducted. There are several kiosks in this area where you can pull up a full bio on a HOF member, and even see videos of their greatest plays. The kiosks also allow you to pull up inductees by a school, which in some cases will be several players.
After paying respects to the college’s greatest players and coaches, make sure to check out the great gift shop on the first floor. You will also want to make sure to hold on to that lanyard you were issued upon entering the College Football Hall of Fame. When you get home you can access and relive all the fun experiences you had with family and friends.
College Football Hall of Fame
250 Marietta Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30313