The 2014 Hall of Fame Game is officially in the history books! The NFL season is officially back and the Class of 2014 has finally reached football heaven!
However, for NFL On Location VIPs, this game was much more than your typical NFL preseason game. The day was full of events honoring the Class of 2014 enshrinees, tailgates for fans to meet Hall of Famers and plenty of other gameday surprises!
Take a look at the 2014 Hall of Fame Game VIP experience and see what all you folks at home missed out on!
The Class of 2014 Roundtable Luncheon
The day started early for the NFL On Location VIPs as they headed to the Canton Memorial Civic Center for a luncheon provided by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a chance to meet the Class of 2014 and an opportunity to sit in on a Roundtable discussion between Hall of Famer James Lofton and the Class of 2014.
Once guests arrived at the Civic Center, they were ushered in different directions. Platinum Plus, Platinum and Gold level packages were invited to dine with the Class of 2014 before the Roundtable began. Once the new enshrinees finished their meal, they were ushered into another private room where Bronze level guests were eating. The Class took a moment to say hello to their fans and snap a few pictures before heading into the main auditorium.
Then, all VIPs made their way from the luncheon into the auditorium for the Roundtable discussion. After a few introductions by the president of the Hall of Fame, the mayor of Canton and a few members of the chair, Hall of Famer James Lofton was introduced and took the microphone to kick it with the Class of 2014.
The enshrinees took their seats on the stage with Lofton in the middle and the witty banter began. This roundtable was easily one of the best events of the entire weekend! Guests were able to see the Class of 2014 relaxed and talking casually about their football days and competing against each other.
Playing and joking around ensued with Michael Stahan, Andre Reed and Aeneas Williams discussing competing in different elements and playing pranks on each other. Claude Humphrey continued to talk about food as Lofton picked on him for these additional references (if you weren't at the Enshrinement Ceremony, Humphrey talked about food A LOT!), Ray Guy laughed about the good 'ole days finding out he was drafted when he didn't have a phone, Walt Jones discussed the Seahawks and his ongoing relationship, and Derrick Brooks talked of his love for Florida.
It really was a fantastic event and allowed fans to truly see the personality of these new Hall of Famers.
Time to get Those Autographs!
Immediately following the Class of 2014 Roundtable Discussion, Platinum Plus guests were taken to the Hall of Fame for a private meeting with the Class of 2014 so they could secure their autographs.
Fans brought helmets, footballs, jerseys, you name it - all to get signed by these great players. Afterwards, these VIPs joined the remaining fans for free time to tour the Pro Football Hall of Fame, shop at the various vendors or visit the beer garden tent.
Promptly at 5 p.m., the Legends Club opened up for the VIP tailgate party! Guests took advantage of the premium open bar located directly in the middle of the tent and the complimentary gourmet food buffets located around the perimeter. The DJ was located in the corner spinning the beats for guests to dance to, and dance they did!
Shortly after the opening, four Hall of Famers made their way into the Legends Club to meet fans, sign autographs and take pictures.
James Lofton (the host of the roundtable), Harry Carson, Dave Wilcox, and Mike Haynes were a hit and guests couldn't get enough of them!
When the tailgate game to a close, the VIPs were led to a Fast Access lane to get into Fawcett Stadium for the 2014 Hall of Fame Game between the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills.
The NFL Season is Here!
The Pro Football Hall of Fame had a variety of unique elements up its sleeve for the Hall of Fame Game! First off, because Fawcett Stadium is a high school stadium, guests were seated incrediby close to the field and many were able to get front row pictures of the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills warming up.
As the teams cleared the field for final locker room preparation, the Pro Football Hall of Fame brought out the surprises! Navy Seals parachuted from 5,000 feet up in the sky and landed on the field, a man proposed to his girlfriend right before gametime and the famous Jim Kelly was a part of the coin toss.
Once the teams ran out of the Pro Football Hall of Fame blow-up helmet to take the field, the Class of 2014 was introduced and walked across the field in-between the two teams lined-up. Michael Strahan was introduced last and made his way across the field through a series of excited jumps. However, he didn't make it very far as he was quickly encompassed by the entire Giants team huddling around him.
Andre Reed received by the Bills in similar fashion, and boy, was it a sight to see!
Finally, it was kick-off time!
The Giants and Bills took the field and just like that NFL football was back! It was a close game leading into halftime with the score tied 10-10, but afterwards the Giants prevailed and took home the win at the first NFL preseason game with a score of 17-13.
It was a fantastic event and on behalf of NFL On Location, I know we are incredibly excited to return to Canton next year.
Join Us at the Pro Football Hall of Fame!
The 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival was one we won't easily forget, but 2015 is sure to be just as memorable! Get information on how you can attend the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival with NFL On Location and receive unparalleled VIP access! Get more information by visiting QuintEvents website today.
The saying is, "They always return to Canton." Why don't you join them next year?