Company announces 2021 NFL Alumni Academy free agent players that have either signed contracts or received workouts with NFL franchises
Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company (“HOFV”) (NASDAQ: HOFV, HOFVW), the only resort, entertainment and media company centered around the power of professional football, and the NFL Alumni Association, today provided an update on the recent successes of the second season of the NFL Alumni Academy (the “Academy”), the first-ever development and training program for aspiring professional football players.
Despite the challenges of the ever-changing NFL COVID protocols, season two of the NFL Alumni Academy expanded the comprehensive services for player development that are used extensively by the pro personnel departments of NFL teams. This unprecedented program continues to be universally accepted by all 32 National Football League teams.
The Academy, which is based at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on the campus of the Hall of Fame Village powered by Johnson Controls in Canton, Ohio, saw 24 of its participants sign contracts or receive workouts with NFL teams. Just in the month of December, recent NFL workouts include:
- OL Wyatt Miller (signed with San Francisco 49ers)
- RB Jeremy Cox (worked out for San Francisco 49ers)
- OL Garrett McGhin (worked out for Indianapolis Colts)
- DL Freedom Akinmoladun (worked out for Indianapolis Colts)
- OL Vadal Alexander (worked out for Seattle Seahawks)
- DL Olive Sagapolu (worked out for New Orleans Saints)
- DL Aaron Adeoye (worked out for Buffalo Bills)
- OL Garrett McGhin (worked out for New Orleans Saints)
- DL Freedom Akinmoladun (signed and played for New York Jets)
- DL Ethan Westbrooks (signed and played for New Orleans Saints)
- OL Garrett McGhin (worked out for Baltimore Ravens)
- DL Aaron Adeoye (signed with Green Bay Packers)
- OL Brett Heggie (signed with Las Vegas Raiders)
“As the NFL Alumni Academy wraps up its second full season, we could not be more impressed to see the substantial growth that this year’s roster of players has exhibited across the board,” stated Dean Dalton, Executive Director - NFL Alumni Academy. “These hard-working free agents are ascending players, and the Academy has proven itself to be a viable path for young athletes to pursue a career in the NFL as well as an excellent evaluation tool for all 32 NFL teams. Our player development program has received tremendous acceptance by NFL teams. Seeing a significant number of Academy players receiving workouts, signing with NFL franchises and playing in NFL games is a testament to the strength of our world-class coaching and the ‘NFL Ready’ preparation hosted at Tom Benson Stadium.”
The Academy is a paradigm shift for in-season player development that is needed by NFL teams. With a long-term vision and the strong partnership with the Hall of Fame Village powered by Johnson Controls, the NFL Alumni Academy looks forward to utilizing the Hall of Fame Village’s state-of-the-art facilities to continue its growth, expand to all positions and enjoy many more successful seasons in 2022 and beyond.
“There is no other development and training program in the world that can prepare these aspiring professionals for a career in the NFL like this one. The value that NFL teams see in the Academy is validated by the several individuals who have achieved their dreams of reaching the NFL after participating in this program,” stated Michael Crawford, President, and CEO of HOFV. “The opportunity to send players into the NFL through our on-site Academy allows us to help these young men realize their dreams to become professional football players. Not only is the Academy a unique and enterprising model for entrance into the NFL, but it increases our business model of synergy between on-campus events, media development, and direct economic return from players’ participation within the Academy."
As the NFL approaches its regular-season finale and the upcoming Wild Card playoff round, the Academy continues to prepare this year’s crop of free-agent talent to be “NFL ready.” The development and readiness of its players were on display in December, when two NFL Alumni Academy defensive linemen, Ethan Westbrooks and Freedom Akinmoladun, signed with NFL teams and immediately contributed, resulting in both players recording tackles that weekend for their respective teams.
About Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company
Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company (NASDAQ: HOFV, HOFVW) is a resort and entertainment company leveraging the power and popularity of professional football and its legendary players in partnership with the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Headquartered in Canton, Ohio, the Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company is the owner of the Hall of Fame Village powered by Johnson Controls, a multi-use sports, entertainment and media destination centered around the Pro Football Hall of Fame's campus. Additional information on the Company can be found at www.HOFREco.com.
About Hall of Fame Village powered by Johnson Controls
Hall of Fame Village powered by Johnson Controls is a multi-use sports, entertainment and media destination centered around the Pro Football Hall of Fame's campus in Canton, Ohio. Owned by the Hall of Fame Resort and Entertainment Company (NASDAQ: HOFV, HOFVW), the Village currently has over $250 million worth of assets under management and is one of the largest ongoing construction projects in Ohio. Phase I of the project entailed the construction of the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, a world-class 20,000 seat, sports and entertainment stadium, and the National Youth Football and Sports Complex. Phase II, currently under construction, will add the Constellation Center for Excellence, the Center for Performance, a Fan Engagement Zone, a Hall of Fame indoor waterpark and a Hilton Tapestry Hotel. Phase III is currently in planning stages. For more information, visit www.HOFVillage.com.
About the NFL Alumni Association
The NFL Alumni Association is a nationwide group of former National Football League players, coaches and other employees whose mission is to serve, assist and inform former players and their families. The association offers a variety of medical, financial and social programs to help members lead healthy, productive and connected lives, as well as community initiatives under the NFL Alumni’s “Caring for Kids” programs. The NFL Alumni Association hosts the NFL Alumni Academy Player Development Program each football season at the Hall of Fame Village powered by Johnson Controls in Canton, Ohio.
About the NFL Alumni Academy
The NFL Alumni Academy provides a pathway for the top-graded players that were released from NFL training camps to return to the NFL by giving them the opportunity to further develop their skills and realize their potential by training under the tutelage of elite former NFL coaches, players and performance coaches. The Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium at the Hall of Fame Village powered by Johnson Controls will initially serve as the NFL Alumni Academy’s headquarters and training facility. The Academy will then move to the Center for Performance, which will be located on the Village’s campus and is anticipated to be completed in 2022. The Center for Performance will feature an 80,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art indoor field house and training facility, among other amenities.
Certain statements made herein are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of words and phrases such as “opportunity,” “future,” “will,” “goal,” and “look forward” and other similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, conditions or results, and involve a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other important factors, many of which are outside the Company’s control, that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Important factors, among others, that may affect actual results or outcomes include the Company’s ability to manage growth; the Company’s ability to execute its business plan and meet its projections, including refinancing its existing term loan and obtaining financing to construct planned facilities; potential litigation involving the Company; changes in applicable laws or regulations; general economic and market conditions impacting demand for the Company’s products and services, and in particular economic and market conditions in the resort and entertainment industry; the potential adverse effects of the ongoing global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on capital markets, general economic conditions, unemployment and the Company’s liquidity, operations and personnel, the inability to maintain the listing of the Company’s shares on Nasdaq, as well as those risks and uncertainties discussed from time to time in our reports and other public filings with the SEC. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.