The National Football Foundation (NFF) announced today that the College Football Hall of Fame attracted near record attendance its final two-days of operations in South Bend, Ind., raising $16,599 for the five local high school football programs.
Attendance for the December 29-30 weekend approached 4,000 visitors. With $2 admission prices and a two-for-one sale on gift shop merchandise, the receipts for the weekend totaled $16,599. The NFF and the College Football Hall of Fame had previously announced that all proceeds from the final two days of operation would be equally donated to the football programs at the five South Bend high schools (Adams, Clay, Riley, Saint Joseph and Washington).
"We are extremely excited to have received such a large check to divide among the four football programs at our high schools," said Kirby Whitaker the director of athletics of South Bend Community Schools. "The amount exceeds our wildest dreams and will be put to good use. I would like to once again thank the Hall of Fame for this and all that they have done for us over the years. We have enjoyed our relationship with the Hall of Fame and the great cooperative relationship that we have had with their staff."
"Saint Joseph High School is overwhelmed and gratified at the generosity of the College Football Hall of Fame," said Eric Gohlke, the athletic director of Saint Joseph High School. "This contribution to our athletic program is an investment that will benefit many Saint Joe athletes in the years to come. We are saddened to see the College Football Hall of Fame leave South Bend. It was a unique attraction that brought great enjoyment to thousands of football fans over the years."
The South Bend facility's final day of operation was Sunday December 30, 2012. The museum will reopen in Atlanta in September 2014.
"South Bend been a wonderful showcase for the National Football Foundation and our mission for the past 18 years," said NFF President Steve Hatchell. "We have had a great working relationship with the people of South Bend and its elected officials. We are grateful for their support, and on behalf of the NFF Board we would like to thank them. We also want to extend a big thank you to all of the volunteers and the staff who made invaluable contributions at the Hall. Their passion helped to create priceless memories for the inductees, and their enthusiasm for the game helped legions of fans gain a richer understanding of the history of the game. We are extremely appreciative of all of their efforts."