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In the new stadium at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, even the locker-room bathrooms have granite countertops.
Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium features a permanent stage at the 50-yard line, nearly 1,000 club seats, party terraces in the west end zone, multiple suites and a sky-level lounge. The 23,000-capacity facility officially will open Thursday morning for a dedication ceremony and again that evening for the Hall of Fame Game between the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals.
The stadium was built in stages in less than two years: The new north stands and permanent stage opened for the 2016 enshrinement week, and after the events concluded, the south stands and press box were demolished. Crews of hundreds, overseen by construction manager Welty Building Co., worked three shifts a day to finish the south stands and west end zone in time for this year's festival.
HKS Architects, based in Dallas, designed the stadium. The company has designed several NFL stadiums, including AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Visitors to Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium will notice two temporary elements -- the east end zone seats and the scoreboard -- which were not planned to be finished this year. The east end zone is expected to be built by next year's enshrinement festival, and the permanent scoreboard is designed to be included in the wall of the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village Center for Excellence building, which has not broken ground. Construction is scheduled to resume on the east end zone in September and will be able to take place while the stadium is operational for McKinley High School and Walsh and Malone university football games.
Here's what to expect at the new stadium:
The south stands include three levels of specialty seating. They are:
Level one: 968 gold club seats, a club area and a club lounge
The gold club seats are padded and 22 inches wide -- 3 inches wider than the traditional theater seats elsewhere in the stadium. The seats can be purchased as club seats, which gives the ticket holder access to the club areas, or as premium seats without the club access. The club is separated into an area that can accommodate about 500 people and into a lounge for 50. Each has a bar and will offer food.
Level two: A level with space for media, suites and five luxury suites
Standing on the field looking at the stands, the writing press section is closest to the highway, followed by the suite space that TV networks and coaches will use this weekend.
Both of those spaces are flexible and can serve other hospitality uses when the stadium holds events that don't have as much media. The writing pressroom can accommodate up to 153 reporters and has windows that open overlooking the field.
Five luxury suites that hold up to 20 people also are included in the design. Catering will be available to the suites.
Level three: A sky-level lounge area that can accommodate up to 250 people
Eventually, the sky level will include 12 cabana suites. For this weekend, the space has been rented by several groups, not one large party, the Hall's Chief Administrative Officer Steve Strawbridge said.
The stadium has four elevators.
There are 968 gold-colored seats in the south stands. Those are Club Level Seats
VIP Lounge: This can fit up to 50 people and be used as a dining, meeting or banquet facility
Luxury suites: The number of suites available is dependent upon configuration of the flex-style partitions
Sky Level: This area atop the press box overlooks the stadium; seating is available for 250; it will be converted into 12 cabana-style suites in the future
Underneath the south stands are two locker rooms that can be converted into four locker rooms, plus locker rooms for coaches, locker rooms for game officials, storage space and space for post-game interviews.
The primary locker rooms have 102 NFL-sized lockers, all of which have power outlets. A temporary divider will double the number of locker rooms available for events, such as the Ohio High School Athletic Association state championship games, which will be hosted at the stadium this fall.
Four loading docks for crews from teams and performers to unload equipment are below the south stands.
The west end zone has theater seats with party terraces on top that accommodate about 50 people each. Strawbridge said options for that space are to rent it, to leave it open for people to congregate or to use it as private gathering space for people who also have seats below the terraces.
The new stadium includes 110 places to buy food and beverages and another 12 for merchandise. AVI Foodsystems is the concessionaire for the stadium, and the offerings and prices will change for different events.
Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium
By the Numbers
23,000: Number of seats available
12,835: Number of seats in the new south stands
1,354: Number of seats in the new west end zone
5: Number of event terraces in the west end zone that offer outdoor party setting with food and beverage catering
2: Number of local colleges playing there (Malone and Walsh universities)
1: Number of local high schools playing there (McKinley)
48: Number of restrooms
260: Number of fixtures in the restrooms
12: Number of concession stands
13: Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium was ranked among the 13 "game-changing" NFL stadiums by Forbes