History meets modern at revamped College Football Hall of Fame

By David Beasley
Handout shows the exterior of the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia
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The exterior of the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia is pictured in this undated handout photo courtesy of the College Football Hall of Fame. REUTERS/College Football Hall of Fame/Handout via Reuters

By David Beasley

ATLANTA (Reuters) - A new museum in Atlanta honoring the greatest U.S. college football players features interactive video exhibits alongside vintage trophies and jerseys from some of the sport's most defining moments.

The College Football Hall of Fame has received an overhaul after being relocated from South Bend, Indiana, near the University of Notre Dame and is due to open on Saturday.

The new site will allow fans to test their football skills on an indoor, 45-yard field and get their visitor badges coded to prompt exhibits to display information about their favorite teams, museum organizers said at a media preview on Wednesday.

"This facility is the new age of hall of fames,” said Kevin Butler, the only kicker among the 948 players in the College Football Hall of Fame.

"What they’ve done is taken the technology that we use in everyday life and joined it with the history of college football," said Butler, an Atlanta businessman who played for the University of Georgia and in the National Football League.

Organizers expect the $68 million museum, mostly paid for with private donations, will attract more visitors due to its increased visibility.

The 94,000-square-foot building is located in downtown Atlanta near the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola museum and the new National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

The attraction includes displays on tailgating and the evolution of shoulder pads, interactive video screens and tributes to Hall of Fame members including quarterbacks Fran Tarkenton, Archie Manning and Dan Marino.

“It gives the fans a chance to relive the great moments in college football,” Butler said.

(Reporting by David Beasley; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Eric Beech)