SOUTH BEND, IND. Fund raising for the College Football Hall of Fame is continuing, but officials are still looking for a corporate sponsor three months before the museum is to open.
``We don't really have deadlines for raising the money,'' Hall spokeswoman Mikki Dobski-Shidler said. ``It's an ongoing thing that is going well.''
The city of South Bend sold $18 million in bonds last summer to finance construction of the 58,000-square-foot museum, scheduled to open Aug. 25. City officials had hoped to find a corporation to help defray construction costs.
There still is no official sponsor, but the South Bend Tribune reported that it is believed some agreements have been reached and the final contractual details are being hammered out.
Meanwhile, construction on the museum is moving ahead rapidly and exhibits are expected to arrive within the next few weeks. The hall's centerpiece is a 43-foot theme sculpture intended to capture the essence of college football. It will include replicas of textbooks, jerseys and a goalpost.
Downstairs, a 22-minute video will be shown in the Stadium Theater to simulate the action of a college football game. The film includes footage of pre-game ankle taping, stretching, motivational speeches and actual plays from games.
Footage of former Michigan coach Gary Moeller addressing his team was included initially, but it was edited out after his recent arrest and resignation.
``If you love football, the tape really grabs you,'' Hall director Bernie Kish, former director of ticket operations at Kansas, said. ``I had a hard time getting the tears out of my eyes.''
Plaques of the 728 Hall of Famers will be displayed in the Hall of Champions, which will encircle the 200-seat theater. Visitors will be able to watch up to 30 seconds of video footage on their favorite player by entering the player's name into a computer.
There are several other interactive displays in the museum, which is designed to resemble a football stadium.
Fans can also buy a tape of themselves calling a famous play unfolding in front of them on a TV screen. Also, anyone who ever played college football will be able to access an old roster on a computer and receive a certificate from the Hall.
``This is more than a museum,'' Kish said. ``We want to give people something to do.''