Report: Atlanta trying to lure football shrine

December 11, 2007

Atlanta officials are in "extensive negotiations" to attract the College Football Hall of Fame from its South Bend home to the city's Centennial Olympic Park, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported late last week.

Citing sources close to the negotiations, the newspaper said the talks have not advanced to the point of involving Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.

The hall of fame is owned by the National Football Foundation, which announced in November 2006 that it would move its headquarters to Dallas from Morristown, N.J.

Foundation officials believe they could wriggle out of a contract the foundation has with South Bend, the newspaper reported.

Civic leaders and corporations would be major financial backers of a hall of fame move much like they attempted to do when NASCAR was looking to start a museum. The $150 million NASCAR Hall of Fame landed in Charlotte, N.C., early last year after a spirited tussle between the cities.

The hall of fame has trophies, photos, helmets and other artifacts.

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