Former Disney executive to create ‘Disneyland of football’ in Ohio

Pro Football Hall of Fame

Former Walt Disney executive Michael Crawford plans to create the “Disneyland of football” adjacent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Crawford is heading the in-development building of a resort featuring football-themed hotels, apartments and a water park, as well as rides, retail and a research building.

Crawford said his investment group is ready for a $300 million investment in the second phase later this year, with the phase expected to conclude in 2022.

“The people’s hunger and desire to consume sports and be in environments like arenas and stadiums and destinations like this will be at an all-time high,” Crawford told WSJ. “We will be building in a down market and opening in an up market.”

Football-themed water park and hotels

Crawford was hired in 2018 to run the development of the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village, a sports and entertainment destination next to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Prior to that, he enjoyed a 25-year career at Disney as senior vice president and general manager of Shanghai Disney Resort and president of Walt Disney Holding Company.

Crawford originally negotiated the building of Shanghai Disney Resort, which cost $5.5 billion and welcomed more than one million guests during its first week.

$300 million investment in the second phase

Elsewhere, the United States Olympic & Paralympic Museum, located in southwest downtown Colorado Springs, opened to the public on July 30.

The new museum is a tribute to the Olympic and Paralympic movements, with Team USA athletes the main focus of the experience.

The US Olympic & Paralympic Museum was designed by Gallagher & Associates (G&A), an internationally recognised interdisciplinary design studio.