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Former Disney Executive to Build the “Disneyland of Football”




“I’m going to Disney World!” The classic phrase from a Walt Disney World advertisement thrills us during the Super Bowl. What if football players and fans had their own Walt Disney World-esque resort, based right off of their own beloved sport? Former Walt Disney Company executive, Michael Crawford, is determined to bring to life his vision of “the Disneyland of football.” The resort, currently in the making, is titled “Hall of Fame Village Powered by Johnson Controls.”

disney executive football

The resort is located in Canton, Ohio, near the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The well-known Hall of Fame museum is dedicated to the biggest names in football history and their achievements. By its completion, this new project is set to include sports complexes, hotels, shopping destinations, a research center, and even apartments. Rumor has it that there will even be a football-themed water park!

The CEO of this football-themed project, former Disney executive, Michael Crawford, spent over fifteen years with the Walt Disney Company. Crawford worked extensively in the theme park sector, from General Manager of Walt Disney World, to Vice President of Business Development for Shanghai Disney Resort. His experience with the biggest name in entertainment will surely provide him with expert insight and direction.

This project is not only focused on resorts and entertainment. Johnson Controls is determined to build the first-ever sports & entertainment “smart city.” Eventually, the Hall of Fame Village will house an industrial sector, local government, an education center, healthcare facilities, and residential neighborhoods.

disney executive football; hall of fame village
Johnson controls

As ambitious as that sounds, the CEO & President of the Pro Football Hall of Fame is reportedly confident to have someone like Michael Crawford on board. He states,

“I am very excited that we have a tremendously talented and enormously experienced executive like Mike Crawford to quarterback the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village team. He brings demonstrated leadership through his experience at the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Company, in addition to the development and operation of Disney Theme Parks, Hotels, and Retail, Dining and Entertainment Districts around the world. Mike Crawford will make Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village a world-class and state-of-the-art destination center.”

disney executive football; hall of fame village national youth sports complex
Hall of fame village

Two components of this massive project are currently active: Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium and the National Youth Football and Sports Complex. The overall project is divided into two phases, with the second phase reaching completion in 2022.

Will you be visiting the Hall of Fame Village Powered by Johnson Controls? Let us know in the comments!

Olivia is a 20 year old English student and life-long lover of Disney parks. She has been visiting Walt Disney World since her childhood, and she aspires to visit each and every park around the globe.

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