CANTON, Ohio–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company (“HOFV” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: HOFV, HOFVW), the only resort, entertainment and media company centered around the power of professional football, is pleased to announce that after a highly successful first season that saw 26 of its participants either receive workouts or sign contracts with NFL franchises, the NFL Alumni Academy (the “Academy”) will return this year. The Academy, led by elite NFL Alumni players and coaches, is the first-ever development and training program for aspiring professional football players, and is based out of the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, a one-of-a-kind sports and entertainment complex located on the campus of the Hall of Fame Village powered by Johnson Controls.
“With the success of last year’s Academy and the overwhelming support we’ve received from the NFL community, we are absolutely thrilled to partner with the NFL Alumni Association to bring the program back this season,” said Michael Crawford, President and CEO of HOFV. “There is no other development and training program in the world that can prepare these aspiring professionals for a career in the NFL like this one. The value that NFL teams see in the Academy is validated by the several individuals who have achieved their dreams of reaching the NFL after participating in this program last season.”
Crawford continued, “As we gear up for the second season of the Academy, we are looking forward to expanding the program and allowing fans opportunities to attend training sessions and engage with the next generation of NFL players.”
“Having established a strong partnership with the Hall of Fame Village, the NFL Alumni Academy is excited about returning to the birthplace of football to assist more young players achieve their dream of playing in the National Football League,” stated NFL Alumni Association CEO Beasley Reece.
The Academy, which was hailed by CBS Sports’ NFL Insider Jason La Canfora as “deserving of more attention” for the model it utilizes to prepare its participants for the next level, focuses on improving the strength and conditioning, techniques, skillsets, knowledge of the game including situational awareness along with life skills education of its trainees, with the goal of preparing their bodies and minds for lengthy careers in the NFL. Participants of the program train alongside and receive hands-on coaching from some of the top minds in professional football. Last year’s roster of coaches included former Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Mike Tice, Hall of Fame Offensive Lineman Anthony Munoz, two-time Pro Bowler Jermon Bushrod, as well as NFL veterans Steve Smith, Jay Hayes, Chuck Smith, Moe Williams and Dean Dalton, while the legendary Chip Smith served as Performance Coach.
Among multiple others, notable inaugural prospects of the NFL Alumni Academy that received workouts or signed contracts with NFL franchises during the pandemic included: Josiah Coatney (San Francisco 49ers), Christian Ringo (New Orleans Saints), O’Shea Dugas (Cincinnati Bengals), Alan Randall (Jacksonville Jaguars), R.J. Prince (Baltimore Ravens), Evan Adams (Cincinnati Bengals), Tavien Feaster (Arizona Cardinals), Mikey Daniels (Carolina Panthers), Stacy Keely (Dallas Cowboys), Trevon McSwain (Cleveland Browns), Aca’Cedric Ware (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Marquel Harrell (Buffalo Bills), Ethan Westbrooks (New Orleans Saints), Javon Leake (Washington Football Team), Jake Benzinger (Indianapolis Colts) and Aaron Patrick (Jacksonville Jaguars).
About the Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company
The Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company (NASDAQ: HOFV, HOFVW) is a resort and entertainment company leveraging the power and popularity of professional football and its legendary players in partnership with the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Headquartered in Canton, Ohio, the Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company is the owner of the Hall of Fame Village powered by Johnson Controls, a multi-use sports, entertainment and media destination centered around the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s campus. Additional information on the Company can be found at www.HOFREco.com.
About the NFL Alumni Association
The NFL Alumni Association is a nationwide organization of former National Football League players, coaches and other employees whose mission is to serve, assist and inform former players and their families. The association offers a variety of medical, financial and social programs to help members lead healthy, productive and connected lives, as well as community initiatives under the NFL Alumni’s “Caring for Kids” programs. The NFL Alumni Association hosts the NFL Alumni Academy Player Development Program each football season at the Hall of Fame Village powered by Johnson Controls in Canton, Ohio.
About the NFL Alumni Academy
The NFL Alumni Academy provides a pathway for the top-graded free agent players that were released from NFL training camps to return to the NFL by giving them the opportunity to further develop their skills and realize their potential by training under the tutelage of elite former NFL coaches, players and performance coaches. The Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium at the Hall of Fame Village powered by Johnson Controls will initially serve as the NFL Alumni Academy’s headquarters and training facility. The Academy will then move to the Center for Performance, which will be located on the Village’s campus and is anticipated to be completed in 2022. The Center for Performance will feature an 80,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art indoor field house and training facility, among other amenities.
About WaV Sports and Entertainment LLC
WaV Sports & Entertainment is a global sports marketing firm that specializes in sports property representation, brand side representation, and the management and production of unique sporting and entertainment events. WaV exclusively represents, manages and operates the NFL Alumni Academy and various other NFL Alumni initiatives such as their youth educational programming known as the Pro Day Experience. Additional information on the Company can be found at www.WaVsports.com
Certain statements made herein are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of words and phrases such as “opportunity,” “future,” “will,” “goal,” and “look forward” and other similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, conditions or results, and involve a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other important factors, many of which are outside the Company’s control, that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Important factors, among others, that may affect actual results or outcomes include the inability to recognize the anticipated benefits of the business combination; costs related to the business combination; the inability to obtain or maintain the listing of the Company’s shares on Nasdaq; the Company’s ability to manage growth; the Company’s ability to execute its business plan and meet its projections; potential litigation involving the Company; changes in applicable laws or regulations; general economic and market conditions impacting demand for the Company’s products and services, and in particular economic and market conditions in the resort and entertainment industry; the potential adverse effects of the ongoing global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on capital markets, general economic conditions, unemployment and the Company’s liquidity, operations and personnel, as well as those risks and uncertainties discussed from time to time in our reports and other public filings with the SEC. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.