- Associated Press - Friday, September 11, 2015

CANTON, Ohio (AP) - Construction crews have started working on the first phase of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s $476 million Hall of Fame Village project in Canton.

Laborers from Akron’s Welty Construction Co. began knocking down the north stands of Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, formerly known as Fawcett Stadium on Thursday.

The renovations bring new seating and will create a fan plaza between the field and the Hall of Fame.

Phase one, expected to cost between $65 million and $80 million, will be completed by mid-July 2016 for Hall of Fame ceremonies.

The project includes plans to build a hotel, conference center and apartments as well as retail, restaurants, football fields, assisted-living housing and a theme park.

Developer Stu Lichter says the final layout of phase two is still undecided.

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