CANTON, OH (WOIO) - It's described as the greatest high school football rivalry in the country and this weekend "The Game" between the Massillon Tigers and the McKinley Bulldogs will take another historic first step.
The Game has been played since 1894 in one of the most historic areas for football.
For decades McKinley High School has been right next door to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton and made use of the stadium there for its football high school games.
This year will mark the first time they'll play in the brand new Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium that was built to be a part of the renovated Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village with a price tag of nearly $800 million.
Surely a new stadium won't make this already historic rivalry any different?
"It is different," says McKinley Athletics Director Greg Malone. "It's not very often you get to be a part of history with this being the first ever game between these two schools in a new stadium."
Saturday Oct. 28, 2:00 P.M.
With the new stadium will come new challenges. The Game is expected to bring some 18,000 fans and as everyone knows parking is always an issue around the Hall of Fame.
Many fans will be surprised when they show up and the neighborhood to the west of the Hall of Fame.
There was normally parking and tailgating in the yards of homeowners.
Many of the closest home are gone to make way for the new village and hotel for the Hall of Fame.
- McKinley High School-lot opens at 10:00 A.M. Free. No tailgating
- Lehman Middle School & McKinley Downtown Campus (former Timken High School)-Free. No tailgating. Free shuttle to stadium
- Massillon Paul Brown Stadium-$3 Leaves at noon and 1:00 P.M.
There's good news and bad news. The good news is they are not using the NFL level of security checks which only allowed small, clear plastic bags inside the stadium. Small bags and purses will be allowed and subject to search.
The bad news is that rain is expect through much of the game and umbrellas are not allowed in the stadium.
According to Malone tickets sales have been selling very well but it's not a sell out yet. Weather could impact walk-up ticket sales.
Tickets have been selling through the school's ticket offices and will continue through Friday.
There will be one ticket window open for walk ups the day of the game on the back side of the stadium on Blake avenue.