The Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame (KPFHF) facility board has been working feverishly to procure commitments from government entities and private investors since the launch of its new promotional video in June.
Since the blitz on funding, the board has sacked commitments of more than $1.2 million, said Tommy Cobb, a Nicholasville Tourism Commission member and facility board member.
“There’s been a lot of positive feedback, and we’ve approached a lot different governing bodies, and many are still signing and close to committing,” Cobb said. “First, the money is going to go to putting in the artificial turf.”
The proposed 5,000-seat, multi-purpose sports complex is currently in phase I of its four-part development. Little progress is being made on the actual property while funds are still out, chairman Jim Ed Shear told the Wilmore City Council during a presentation in July.
Shearer said it is just a matter of time while commitments are being made and the funds start to flow. He also told the council that the once locally held annual Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony would return again to Louisville each year until the new facility was completed.
This year’s 10th annual ceremony was originally pitched by the KPFHF as a one-time event in Louisville to launch the promotional video and a place to have the most “presence for possible donors,” but due to its success, the event will continue to be held out of town.
“We have a real opportunity by moving (the ceremony) to Louisville,” Cobb said. “We feel we could raise more money, get more corporate sponsors, and that will come back to us to build the facility.”
Cobb said the Nicholasville Tourism Commission and the county’s fiscal court among others are completely backing the project. In April, the county approved a 20-year lease of the John Preece Sports
Complex to the KPFHF Board for only $1 and has donated much of the land.
Within the past decade, tourism’s donations alone have reached nearly $100,000, which has covered the board’s overhead, including filing for and receiving its 501(c)3 status earlier this year.