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New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson gets statue, stadium named after him in Canton

By
The Sports Xchange
New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson sits on the sidelines before a game against the Atlanta Falcons last season. Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI
New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson sits on the sidelines before a game against the Atlanta Falcons last season. Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo

Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio was dedicated on Thursday, hours before the Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys were to meet in the Hall of Fame Game.

A larger-than-life statue of Benson also was unveiled.

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Benson gifted $10 million toward the construction of the 23,000-seat stadium in 2014. He also made a $1 million contribution toward the creation of Legends Landing, an assisted living facility which will be part of the Player Care Center at Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village.

"While the stadium and the statue are truly an honor that we cherish, what makes this gift and this day most important is recognizing the greats of the game that have built the game into what it is today," Benson said in a statement. "... We need to continue to honor and assist them.

"That is why I made sure one of the first things we did when discussing this was to make an additional $1 million gift that would go to the creation of Legends Landing, one of the most important pieces of this great development."

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The upgrading of the stadium increased in importance after last season's Hall of Fame Game between the Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers was canceled due to poor field conditions.

This year's Hall of Fame induction ceremonies are Saturday.

Running backs LaDainian Tomlinson and Terrell Davis, quarterback Kurt Warner, defensive end Jason Taylor, safety Kenny Easley, kicker Morten Anderson and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones are the inductees.

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