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Pro Football Hall of Fame plans to have fans at 2021 induction ceremony: ‘We’re going to do this,’ president says

Tom Flores and Charles Woodson could be inducted in front of a crowd on August 8

NFL: AUG 04 Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony
Pro Football Hall of Fame
Photo by Daniel Kucin Jr./Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

If you were hoping to take a summer trip to Canton, Ohio, to see Raiders’ legends Tom Flores and Charles Woodson inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, you may be in luck.

The current plan is for fans to be at the full event in August — meaning fans will be at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Aug. 8, and at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium when the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers play on Aug. 5).

The 2020 HOF game between the two teams was canceled (along with the induction ceremony) last summer because of the coronavirus pandemic.

This year however, Pro Football Hall of Fame president David Baker confirmed that the current plan is to proceed with the induction week as usual, according to a Sports Illustrated report on Wednesday. Baker said COVID-19 case decline trends and the expected progress of the coronavirus vaccine distribution make it feasible that the event will proceed with fans.

“The only way I know how to do this and the only way I think the good people of Canton know how to do this, are saying, ‘We’re going to do this.’ We’re getting ready. We’re going to take every precaution, we’re going to make everything safe. But we’re going,” Baker said on the Pro Football Hall of Fame show on SiriusXM NFL Radio, when asked about the Hall’s summer plan.

“I think there’s a very good shot that we’ll be the first full stadium for football in the United States in nearly two years,” Baker added. “And, to me, that’s going to be good for the rest of the country and for the football season ahead. It shows that we can get our economy going and our kids educated and make even more advances on health care. But we’re going to be ready.”

That is exciting and hopeful news. If things progress well and this event happens, it will likely mean there will be a good chance for full (or nearly full) stadiums across the NFL in the fall to kickoff the 2021 season.

What a better way to get back to normal than seeing Raiders fans wildly cheer for Flores and Woodson in person.