Football section: Hall of fame opening planned for 2013

As is typical, Gary Stokan is aiming high for the new home of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Stokan, the Chick-fil-A Bowl president who is leading the charge for the museum's move from South Bend, Ind., to Atlanta, said it will be "180 degrees" different than the current hall.

"This will be an immersive, entertaining, engaging, interactive, high-tech attraction rather than a museum," Stokan said.

The hall is scheduled to open in spring 2013 in a downtown location to be revealed in coming days. Stokan, who also runs next week's Chick-fil-A Kickoff game, has said it will be about a block from Centennial Olympic Park.

Stokan said he wants visitors to experience "the emotions of game day" in the building, expected to be about 50,000 square feet and cost about $50 million.

Stokan's Atlanta Hall Management, the non-profit that is overseeing the facility, has contracted with design firm Gallagher & Associates, which has designed exhibits at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center, FDR Presidential Library and Oklahoma Football Hall of Fame, among others.

The National Football Foundation, which owns the hall, decided to move the museum to give it more exposure. The hall moved to South Bend from Kings Mills, Ohio, in 1995. After drawing about 115,000 visitors in its first year, the number dropped to about 60,000 annually thereafter.

Atlanta landed the museum in September 2009. Stokan has said 500,000 annual visitors to the hall is a "conservative" estimate.