Admission to the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta just became free

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Whether you worship college football, abhor the violent sport, or fall somewhere in between, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’re a fan of free.

Seems like yesterday, but the $68 million College Football Hall of Fame—designed by the same architecture firm behind the Georgia Aquarium, tvsdesign—opened five years ago this month, another feather in the cap of Atlanta’s downtown tourism district.

To commemorate that milestone, along with the 150th anniversary of collegiate pigskin, admission to the hall will be free throughout the month of August, officials announced today.

A standard adult ticket usually costs $21.99, while kids get in for four bucks cheaper.

The gratis entries are made possible through a partnership between the hall and hometown corporate titans Coca-Cola and Chick-fil-A.

Officials didn’t specify how much the companies are contributing to freely fling open the doors as Southern college football hype reaches a boil. But a nifty promotional aspect is that fans must scan a Chick-fil-A app at the hall’s ticket window to get in.

For the uninitiated, the Marietta Street football pantheon is more like a touchscreen-heavy, interactive experience than a temple full of artifacts and busts.

After several years of fundraising struggles and construction delays, the facility opened in August 2014 near Centennial Olympic Park.

Prior to Atlanta, the hall had operated in South Bend, Indiana, and before that, suburban Cincinnati. Both previous locations had drawn fewer visitors than anticipated, and tickets sales dwindled to just $177,000 in the hall’s final year in the Hoosier State.

The South Bend Tribune in 2017 conceded the uprooting from Notre Dame’s home turf to the ATL had been a winning move, as ticket revenue had swelled by about 15 times, while major Peach State corporate sponsorships kicked in another $15.5 million.

Earlier this year, Coke stepped up in a similar way before Atlanta’s Super Bowl, making admission free to another downtown attraction, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, by way of a $1 million grant.

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