CANTON, OHIO – While pro football fans anxiously await the 2013 NFL Draft and the introduction of the next generation of NFL stars, the Pro Football Hall of Fame is busy preparing for the largest gathering of the game’s all-time greats.
The Hall of Fame, as a part of its 50th Year celebration, is planning a Golden Anniversary Reunion of Hall of Famers. The gala gathering will be held in Canton, Ohio, August 2-4, as a part of the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival. Hall of Fame officials expect upwards of 130 Hall of Famers to be on hand when the Class of 2013 – Larry Allen, Cris Carter, Curley Culp, Jonathan Ogden, Bill Parcells, Dave Robinson and Warren Sapp – are formally enshrined. More than 90 Hall of Famers have already confirmed their attendance.
“Typically there are 75-80 returning Hall of Famers attending the various Enshrinement Festival events. To have this many confirmed by this early date is very exciting,” commented Hall of Fame President/Executive Director Steve Perry. “We feel confident that we will have a record turnout by our Hall of Famers. Nowhere else will fans be able to interact with this many Hall of Famers at one time in one place.”
The impressive list of early reunion registrants includes Troy Aikman, Dick Butkus, Earl Campbell, Dan Fouts, Frank Gifford, Joe Greene, Sam Huff, Floyd Little, Howie Long, Art Monk, Jerry Rice, Shannon Sharpe, Don Shula, Bruce Smith, Emmitt Smith, Lawrence Taylor, and Kellen Winslow. A complete list is posted on the Hall of Fame’s website at Profootballhof.com/Golden-Anniversary-Reunion and will be continually updated as more Hall of Famers sign up for the weekend celebration.
Special events involving the returning Hall of Famers are being planned and will be announced as they become finalized. Already scheduled for Friday, August 2, is a grand “Red Carpet” arrival at the Hall of Fame of the returning Hall of Famers and the 2013 Class of Enshrinees. Once at the Hall of Fame the entire group will be assembled on the front steps of the newly expanded and renovated Hall of Fame for an historic group photo. The public is welcomed and encouraged to attend this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Due to the addition of the Golden Anniversary Reunion, demand for tickets to this year’s Enshrinement Ceremony is expected to be higher than usual and advance ticket purchases are recommended. Ticket information for all the Enshrinement Festival events can also be found on the Hall’s website.
The previous record for returning Hall of Famers is 111. That’s how many turned out for the 2003 Enshrinement Festival celebrating the Hall of Fame’s 40th Anniversary.