CANTON, OH (WOIO) - There's some new features at the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year and so far, the reception has been great.
The former Fawcett Stadium is now called the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. The name is a tribute to the owner of the New Orleans Saints who donated $11 million to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
"I used to be in the construction business and I got invited to do the walk-thru here and it's really fantastic," said Jeff Goss. "And this is only 14 percent of what they're going to do. I saw a rendering and they're even building a water park and hotel."
Goss, a die-hard Massillon High School football fan, has been coming to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Games for 40 years.
"Every year they send forms out, I think it comes out in February or March. They send out a renewal package and you renew them, send your money in, and it's good. Originally I came with my dad and we would buy 32 tickets. We went from 32-to-16 tickets at $10, $15 and $20 a ticket. Now I just get eight tickets every year," Goss said. "We used to come all the time and once he [dad] passed I thought about letting the tickets go but I didn't."
The 23,000-seat stadium has come a long way since last year. Thousands of fans were disappointed when the Hall of Fame Game was canceled due to field issues and safety concerns.
Like every other year Goss had tickets to the game but chose not to make the trip in 2016.
"I sold my tickets last year and I feel really bad because the guy who bought them, I didn't have any of his information. It's a shame he had to endure that, didn't even get to see a game," Goss explained. "We were compensated, they gave us a full refund, tickets into the Hall of Fame, a photograph and a few other things and I couldn't pass it along."
Goss may have missed last year but he's looking forward to spending a lot more time at Tom Benson Stadium. New features include a built-in stage at the 50-yard line, a VIP Lounge and luxury suites.
"I'm hoping the Oakland Raiders come. They have such a great following. A friend of mine just signed, Gareon Conley. He's from here, Massillon," said Goss. "He's a good kid, has great intentions."
In addition to the annual game, the stadium will be the home to both Malone University and Walsh University along with Canton McKinley High School.
"They [Football Hall of Fame] have a great backing now with Johnson Controls, and that's for the next 18 years. That's huge, that's huge," added Goss.
This year's inductees include Cowboys owner, president and general manager, Jerry Jones, Morten Andersen, Terrell Davis, Kenny Easley, Jason Taylor, LaDainian Tomlinson and Kurt Warner.
"I'm a season ticket holder for the Hall of Fame Games," Goss said laughing. "I guess I could have gave them up years ago and I had no clue they were gonna do this. I'm glad I didn't, you know. It's nice."