Football Hall of Fame move to Tim Hortons field delayed

The City of Hamilton’s plan to install the Canadian Football Hall of Fame display at Tim Hortons Field by September has been delayed.

A report is to be presented to the city’s government issues committee Sept. 7.

The plan had been to unveil the new hall of fame display during the Canadian Football League’s Hall of Fame game scheduled for Sept. 16, when Hamilton plays Montreal. But due to delays in signing the transfer agreement and operations agreement between the city and the Canadian Football League, construction has been delayed.

The transfer agreement will shift title from the Canadian Football Hall of Fame to the CFL, while the operations agreement will define the terms and responsibilities of both parties at Tim Hortons Field.

Architectural designs are nearly done, and approvals and building permits will have to be issued for construction to take place, states the report.

Some “aspects” of the hall of fame “may be” completed prior to the Sept. 16 game, but the Hall of Fame pavilion space, called “Legends Row — Walkway,” will not be done.

Rom D’Angelo, director of facilities management and capital programs, has said the Legends Row will showcase all the busts of the CFL’s all-time great players on each side at the northwest area of the stadium. He described the showcase as an “open-air pavilion” that would allow fans and spectators to walk among the busts and other artifacts.

In addition, at the guest services location of Tim Hortons Field at Gate 3, there will be an area commemorating the Grey Cup, including its history. A Grey Cup will be located in the area for visitors to see, but it isn’t expected to be the original trophy.

In the press box at the stadium, said D’Angelo, the league will honour the members of the Hall of Fame who were from the media with photos, plaques and other information.

The “Touchdown” statue currently at the hall of fame’s former location will be relocated to Tim Hortons Field, and a commemorative plaque will be displayed at the stadium acknowledging the city’s contribution to the project.

Last summer, the CFL and the City of Hamilton agreed to relocate the hall of fame from its former location beside City Hall on Main Street to Tim Hortons Field.

The agreement stipulated the city and CFL would each contribute $250,000 to construct the display, with the CFL overseeing the hall of fame and museum artifacts. The city would continue to store football memorabilia in the basement of the former location at 58 Jackson St. until 2025.

Also in the agreement was that Hamilton would host the Hall of Fame game until 2025, and the city would stop subsidizing the facility at a cost of about $130,000 annually through free rent and utilities.