Picken, Staubach want to relocate HoF

Updated: April 13, 2009, 7:41 PM ET
By Tim Griffin | ESPN.com

Dallas officials announced plans to try to relocate the National College Football Hall of Fame from its current location in South Bend, Ind. to the Dallas metro area.

A coalition of Dallas area leaders including millionaire T. Boone Pickens and current Dallas-area residents and Hall of Fame members Emmitt Smith and Roger Staubach announced their plans at a press conference Monday in Dallas.

The Dallas Morning News reported that the group is willing to pay for the entire cost of relocation as well as building and launching the facility. Preliminary plans are to construct the Hall of Fame next to a planned Dallas Convention Center hotel in downtown Dallas that will be voted on by Dallas voters next month.

"This is a great football city. Dallas would be a great place for it," Dallas mayor Tom Leppert told the News. "They've been very open to the ideas that we're putting forward."

Leppert told Dallas television station WFAA that winning the vote for the new hotel is not crucial to attract the Hall of Fame but might help convince power brokers to move the hall to Dallas.

The task force plans to privately raise 100 percent of the necessary funds to build, relocate and launch the new Hall.

Dallas' hopes could also receive a boost because Steve Hatchell, president and CEO of the National Football Foundation -- the parent entity of the College Football Hall of Fame -- has maintained a residence in Dallas since his days as the first commissioner of the Big 12 Conference.

Tim Griffin covers college football for ESPN.com. You may contact him at espntimgriff@yahoo.com.