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The Pro Football Hall of Fame Museum at Tom Benson Hall Of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. Photo: Daniel Kucin Jr./Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This week, about 250,000 people will descend on Canton, Ohio — home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame — to watch the NFL season kickoff game and induction of former players and coaches.

Why it matters: Looming over the festivities is a nearly $1 billion, slow-moving project to build the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village. An economic impact study says the "NFL theme park" will attract football fans year-round and give this Rust Belt city a much-needed economic boost estimated to be worth $15 billion over the next 25 years.

Details: The $900 million project includes a rebuilt stadium, a water park, hotels, entertainment and retail. It will also have advanced video, audio and digital technology to immerse fans into the sport, NYT reports.

  • It's a big project for a city the size of Canton, which has seen its population drop 3.5% since 2010, per Census data.
  • Similar-sized sports arenas have gone to much bigger cities. For example, Sacramento invested $1 billion in its “Downtown Commons” area, which is now home to NBA’s Sacramento Kings.

But, but, but: It's running way behind schedule. Construction has been at a standstill for more than a year, the Plain Dealer reports, and it won’t be ready for the 100th anniversary of the founding of the NFL planned for 2020.

  • Mike Crawford, newly appointed CEO of the village, said the complex isn't meant to be built all at once and that completing the massive project in stages will keep patrons coming back.

The project is seeking $300 million for more construction, and the goal is "very close," Canton Deputy Mayor Fonda Williams tells Axios. The city also established tax incentives to promote investment.

  • Canton has yet to see an uptick in tourism due to Hall of Fame week, but Williams said he is encouraged that the massive project appears to have a clearer vision.
  • "I think the tourism numbers will elevate in years to come as the hall adds additional features to attract tourists," he said.

Still, some Canton residents lost faith in the project when construction paused. Others are skeptical the project will deliver year-round business to town and worry it could actually take commerce away from existing establishments near the Hall of Fame.

The bottom line: If successful, the Hall of Fame Village would be a major boon to the city. However, estimates of economic impact of sports stadiums are often exaggerated because projects fail to recognize opportunity costs, according to research by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Go deeper

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attend a joint session of Congress. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has abandoned his demand that Democrats state, in writing, that they would not abandon the legislative filibuster.

Between the lines: McConnell was never going to agree to a 50-50 power sharing deal without putting up a fight over keeping the 60-vote threshold. But the minority leader ultimately caved after it became clear that delaying the organizing resolution was no longer feasible.

6 hours ago - Technology

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Google will not make contributions from its political action committee this cycle to any member of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election, following the deadly Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Several major businesses paused or pulled political donations following the events of Jan. 6, when pro-Trump rioters, riled up by former President Trump, stormed the Capitol on the day it was to certify the election results.

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Minority Mitch still setting Senate agenda

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Chuck Schumer may be majority leader, yet in many ways, Mitch McConnell is still running the Senate show — and his counterpart is about done with it.

Why it matters: McConnell rolled over Democrats unapologetically, and kept tight control over his fellow Republicans, while in the majority. But he's showing equal skill as minority leader, using political jiujitsu to convert a perceived weakness into strength.