College Football Hall Of Fame Damaged In Atlanta Protests

May 31, 2020, 5:55 PM
People clean up broken glass and repair windows at the College Football Hall of Fame following an o...
People clean up broken glass and repair windows at the College Football Hall of Fame following an overnight demonstration over the Minneapolis death of George Floyd while in police custody on May 30, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

ATLANTA, Ga. — The College Football Hall of Fame is boarded up and assessing damage from a destructive night of protests in downtown Atlanta.

The facility’s most valuable trophies and artifacts were moved to a secure facility in case additional trouble breaks out amid nationwide unrest over the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded to police that he could not breathe.

Kimberly Beaudin, the hall’s chief executive officer, said the extensive glass facade of the nearly 95,000-square-foot building was shattered Friday night. Rioters also broke into the street-level gift shop, stole merchandise and left it “pretty trashed,” she added.

But, other than some broken glass that fell into a large exhibition area shaped like a football field, the interior of the hall was not breached by the protesters.

“All of it can repaired. All of it can be recovered. All of the merchandise can be replaced,” Beaudin told The Associated Press in an interview Sunday. “We’re very thankful.”

Previously located in South Bend, Indiana, the Hall of Fame opened a new $68.5 million facility in Atlanta in 2014, taking a prime spot adjacent to the Georgia World Congress Center and right across the street from Centennial Olympic Park.

It is part of a hub of downtown tourist attractions that also includes the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, CNN Center, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and a giant Ferris wheel.

That area became the epicenter of Atlanta’s protests over Floyd’s death. Thousands of people jammed the streets, clashing with police and damaging businesses.

The Hall of Fame had been making plans to reopen after shutting down in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Beaudin said those plans likely will be pushed back because of the time needed to make repairs.

“We had been working through scenario A and scenario B,” she said. “Now, we have scenario C.”

More protests were staged Saturday in Atlanta, but no additional damage was reported to the Hall of Fame or other businesses around Centennial Olympic Park.

The city was under a curfew and a heavy presence of police and National Guard soldiers curtailed a repeat of Friday night’s carnage.

Beaudin and other Hall of Fame officials surveyed the damage Saturday morning and were heartened to be joined by dozens of fellow citizens who turned up with brooms and trash bags to help clean up the debris.

The front of the facility was hastily boarded up and the collection of historic items — including a Heisman Trophy, a national championship trophy and countless other items documenting the history of college football — were removed from the hall.

“We very much wanted to get our eyes on everything,” Beaudin said. “We took the extra precaution to … move all the valuable artifacts, the trophies and everything else. We wanted to take an abundance of caution, so we moved them off site to a secure facility. There are some iconic items. We don’t want them falling into the wrong hands.”

In addition to welcoming thousands of visitors each year, the Hall of Fame hosts college football’s annual awards night and other events such as the Southeastern Conference media days.

The SEC was set to host its preseason media function at the hall for the second time in mid-July, though those plans are up in the air because of the pandemic.

If the league decides to stage the event in Atlanta, rather that holding it virtually, the Hall of Fame will have enough time to make repairs, Beaudin said.

“We will be full prepared to host that event if the SEC decides to move forward with it,” she said.


Rubio Rubín Real Salt Lake Austin FC St. Louis City SC...
Chandler Holt

Real Salt Lake Prepares For Second Consecutive Home Game Against St. Louis City

Real Salt Lake takes on St. Louis City SC at America First Field for the second consecutive home game on Saturday, March 25.
16 hours ago
Ben Anderson

NBA 2K Ranks Walker Kessler As Second Best Rookie

The popular NBA 2K video game series recently updated its player rankings, boosting Utah Jazz rookie Walker Kessler to an 83 rating overall. 
16 hours ago
joe ingles milwaukee buck utah jazz dj and pk ksl sports zone...
Chandler Holt

Exclusive: Joe Ingles Says Coming Back To Salt Lake City Will Be Emotional

Former Jazzman Joe Ingles joined DJ and PK on the KSL Sports Zone to talk about his upcoming return to Salt Lake City.
16 hours ago
Chandler Holt

Instant Replay: Utah Valley’s President Cheers On Wolverines With Pom-Poms

In the NIT Tournament quarterfinals, Utah Valley's president Dr. Astrid S. Tuminez was seen cheering with pom-poms courtside.
16 hours ago
UVU players celebrate win...
KSL Sports

Utah Valley Men’s Basketball Advances To NIT Final Four

The Wolverines downed the Bearcats with a score of 74-68.
16 hours ago
Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (23) falls hard to the floor after being fouled as the Jazz and t...
Ben Anderson

Jazz Fall To Trail Blazers, Drop In Standings

The Utah Jazz failed to win their third straight game as they fell to the Portland Trail Blazers 127-115 at home.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
College Football Hall Of Fame Damaged In Atlanta Protests