History and Excitement Come Together at the Canadian Football League’s Hall of Fame

In Hamilton at the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, which is a non-profit institution that is open to the public, you’ll find not only several displays about the Canadian Football League itself, you’ll discover an entire world devoted to all levels of Canadian football, from junior football to university level football. The main feature of the Hall of Fame is the central museum area, in which metal busts depicting all inducted members are on display, along with the highlights of each of the League’s teams’ histories. In addition, there is an interactive field goal kicking exhibit where football fans of all ages can test their skills.

Opened on November 28th of 1972, the glass and marble Hall of Fame features a larger than life sculpture on the front lawn, titled Touchdown; new sculptures of inductees are added annually at the Hall of Fame Weekend, when newly inducted players traditionally make acceptance speeches as the busts are unveiled.

In addition to the Zone of Champions where busts of honorees are displayed, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame features a huge collection of football memorabilia that illustrates the rich history of the game of football. In the Heritage Zone, you’ll tour through four interactive history displays including 1909 Grey Cup footage, footage from the 1944 Tea Bowl, a Football reporters of Canada interactive station, and an entire selection of game program reproductions that span the history of the CFL. In the Hands-On Zone, you’ll find a partial reproduction of the Windsor AKO Frat Men Locker Room, as well as an interactive Leg Press test.

Artifacts housed at the museum include more than 30,000 items; jerseys and helmets, game balls, record balls, and trophies, sweaters and jackets, flags and banners, all sorts of playing equipment, and an extensive collection of photographs plus films and videos that not only celebrate the game, but which teach visitors about the CFL’s history. In addition, there is an entire collection of Grey Cup artifacts, including the cup itself, plus original tickets from Grey Cup games, championship photo collections, Grey Cup rings, and much more.

In addition to fixed displays, the museum features two education programs designed specifically for children in grades K-8. These themed programs include the History of the Grey Cup, and Suit Him Up: The Evolution of Football Equipment, which allows kids to travel through time, from the days of leather helmets all the way up to tech-savvy pro gear used by players today.

The CFL Hall of Fame also boasts a theatre, which can be rented for events, plus its volunteers operate an outreach program. Some of the museum’s displays travel to different locations throughout Canada, and some displays may even be rented.

Located in downtown Hamilton, on Main Street between Bay Street and MacNab Street, the CFL Hall of Fame is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Hours are extended on dates when the Hamilton Tiger-Cats play at home, giving football fans a place to enjoy some league history before the games begin. Admission is inexpensive, at just $7 for adults.

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