Hall makes it official: 2020 game and enshrinement postponed to 2021
The Pro Football Hall of Fame on Thursday confirmed reports that all events surrounding this year's Enshrinement Week -- including its preseason game and the enshrinement itself – have been postponed to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Hall’s release, all of the 2020 events originally scheduled for Aug. 6-9, will be moved to the week of Aug. 5-9, 2021 – including the Hall-of-Fame between Dallas and Pittsburgh, which sold out in 22 minutes in March.
That game has been postponed to Thursday night, Aug. 5, 2021.
“The health and safety of our Hall of Famers, fans and volunteers who make Enshrinement Week so special remains our top priority,” said David Baker, president and CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “The Hall will honor the Centennial Class of 2020 next August, along with what promises to be an equally spectacular class of 2021, as part of a multi-day celebration of football with an atmosphere that will deliver fans ‘Twice the Fun in ’21.’ “
It’s also twice the inductions. And that may pose a logistical concern.
There is the Class of 2020, composed of five modern-era players, but there are three members (Paul Tagliabue, Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson) from the Centennial Class, too. All were to have been honored in August.
Then, of course, there’s the Class of 2021, composed of five players and, in all likelihood, three seniors and contributors. Peyton Manning and Charles Woodson are among the candidates for the Class of 2021, with both expected to be first-ballot enshrinees.
And let's not forget about the Centennial Class of 2020, which was supposed to be inducted this September. Apparently, that's not going to happen, either.
According to a Hall-of-Fame spokesman, a tentative plan has all accomodated the weekend of Aug. 7-8, 2021, with the Class of 2020 -- including 15 members of the Centennial Class -- honored on Saturday, Aug. 7, and the Class of 2021 enshrined the following day.
In the meantime, the Hall has alerted fans who planned to attend this year’s preseason game that they may retain their 2020 seats for next year at the same price or apply for a refund. Those who hold their tickets also will receive a 25 percent discount on Hall-of-Fame merchandise purchased prior to March 31, 2021, as well as an opportunity to upgrade their seats.
For fans seeking refunds, requests must be received by Friday, July 31 of this year. The refund policy, an online form of submissions and answers to other questions, will be posted next Monday, June 29, at www.profootballhof.com/2020ticketoptions/.
This is not the first time the annual Hall-of-Fame game won't be played. It was last canceled in 2016 due to unsafe field conditions. It was also canceled in 2011 during the lockout.
“We believe postponing Enshrinement Week events in 2020 is the right way to honor enshrinees and their families properly,” said Baker, “along with the other living Gold Jackets who want to come to Canton for this celebration. We also believe next year promises to be the greatest gathering in football ever.”
It’s bound to be the largest … at least for Canton.