The Pro Football Hall of Fame opened in Canton,Ohio with 17 inductees in September 1963 as the hall of fame of professional football in U.S. The Hall of Fame is located in Canton, Ohio.
This location was chosen because the American Professional Football Association was founded here and also because the Canton Bulldogs was known as one of the best NFL team. In addition to this, the local community lobbied to have the Hall of Fame built in the city.
Up until 2010, all those who had been inducted had played a major portion of their career in National Football League with the exception of one player, Billy Shaw who played for American Football League before the merger of AFL/NFL in 1970. The selection process that is followed is very strict with a 44 member committee deciding whether a player is worth the prestigious honor. The committee is known as the Board of Selectors and consists mostly of sportswriters.
For a player or a coach to be eligible for nomination process, he should have been retired for 5 years. Fans can also nominate individuals by writing to the Pro Hall of Fame via email or letter. There is also a polling process three times a year and the Selection Committee by mail balloting selects the 15 finalists. There is also a Seniors Committee consisting of 9 members that select 2 players who have finished their careers 25 or more years prior and take the total finalist list to 17.
To elect a new class, the Selection Committee meets before the Super Bowl game. Each year between four to seven inductees are selected and the induction ceremony takes place in August with a week long festival in Canton. After the ceremony, a Pro Football Hall of Fame game is held marking the official kick off of the NFL pre-season.
The bust sculptures at the exhibition center make no reference to any specific team and Chicago Bears has the maximum players (twenty seven) inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Initially the ceremony was held at the hall of fame building but from 2002, the ceremony shifted to Fawcett Stadium.