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Blog Entry

Don't forget Canton's getting hosed this weekend

Posted on: August 6, 2011 12:21 pm
Edited on: August 6, 2011 1:14 pm
 
Posted by Will Brinson

If anyone does a list of lockout winners and losers, the city of Canton, Ohio has to top the list.

That's because Canton will end up losing many millions of dollars and many wasted hours of volunteer work while the Hall of Fame induction takes place.

That's a direct result of the lockout and the fact that the Rams and Bears aren't playing the (now) traditional Hall of Fame Game, which, according to the NFL, brings in $30 million for Canton in terms of an economic impact.

"We are unfortunately going to have to cancel the Hall of Fame Game this year," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said recently. "The time is just too short and we feel that it’s important for all 32 teams to be operating with the same number of preseason games and also starting camp at the same date or near the same date."

There will still be money spent, but it won't be the same -- instead of thousands of Bears/Rams fans pouring into Canton, freely dropping coins and buying swag and pumping cash into the local economy, there will be some fans and a slew of family members for those people being inducted.

In fact, per Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the city's losting $3 million in revenue from the game alone. The NFL has apparently pledged to "compensate the committee" for its losses from that revenue.

That's nice and all but it's not going to fill up hotels, it's not going to send thousands of people to local restaurants and it's not going to fix the city's now-wrecked budget line.

Sorry for being pessimistic and pedantic and whatnot, but this is important, because we (myself included) have now been successfully trained to believe that with the lockout over and 10 years of labor peace on the books, no one was harmed by the NFL's labor strife.

That's obviously not true, and Canton's being nice about the whole process.

"The trickle-down effect is just the confusion," Joe Horrigan, VP of communications and exhibits at Canton, said recently. "If the world talks about the Hall of Fame Game being canceled, then if it's not played, a lot of people assume nothing else is happening. And that's not the case. It's the last day of a 10-day festival."

That's the nice way of handling things, and Horrigan's comments came before the game was actually canceled. You best believe that behind closed doors, the message is a lot less kind.

There's not a whole lot the league can do, though. Donate $30 million to Canton to make up for the lost money? Ha. How does "we'll let you keep the Pro Football Hall of Fame" sound?

About right, yes? That's the nature of this business and it's fine.

Well, not fine. A small city that depends on a part of the NFL is suffering financially this weekend.

And despite how much fluff is given to the ceremony because of the big names -- Deion Sanders and, ahem, NFL Network analyst Marshall Faulk -- they won't be making the same amount of money as they would if the ceremony were going full-steam and featuring the first preseason game of the year.

It's great that we have football back, of course. And it's great that we're going to avoid a lockout for 10 years. But that shouldn't make us forget that everything's not sunshine and rainbows in Canton, where a community that's the perfect representative of the average NFL fan is going to be a lot less financially enthralled this year.

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Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:19 pm
 

Don't forget Canton's getting hosed this weekend



fghdfre
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 1, 2012 8:50 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator



tomlye
Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 29, 2011 10:20 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Jul 22, 2007
Posted on: August 6, 2011 1:01 pm
 

Don't forget Canton's getting hosed this weekend

I think they canceled it too early.  The Rams and the Bears could have played it.



Since: Jan 6, 2008
Posted on: August 6, 2011 12:37 pm
 

Don't forget Canton's getting hosed this weekend

Finally!  Someone who actually writes a strong and substantive post on the horrible impact this cancellation has on Canton's economy.  What the NFL and the players did to Canton, albeit indirectly, is criminal.  And actually, I DO think the NFL should pay Canton $30 million for the lost revenue.  Let the city decide how they should split that up.  It's incredibly poor form for such a loyal and gracious host to the NFL's most revered facility.


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