I’ve been looking for an opportunity to write about the Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company (NASDAQ:HOFV) for about a year. At that time, I spoke with the company’s CEO, Michael Crawford. Crawford’s vision is to make the area surrounding the Pro Football Hall of Fame into the “Disneyland of football.” And Crawford is a former Disney executive, so he has some knowledge of how to get that done.
The Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company is a sports, entertainment, and media enterprise that surrounds the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The company is developing Hall of Fame Village powered by Johnson Controls that is a multi-use sports, entertainment, and media destination. The mission of the village is to capitalize on the popularity of professional football and its legendary players.
To that end, the company is in the middle of a $300 million Phase 2 construction project that will put a luxury hotel, water park, retail buildings and a state-of-the-art performance center on the grounds of the Hall of Fame. It’s important to note that the Hall of Fame Village is separate from the Pro Football Hall of Fame which remains a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit educational institution.
That’s why I call HOFV a picks-and-shovel stock. You can’t invest in an NFL team directly (maybe the Green Bay Packers since they are a publicly owned company). However, you can invest in the immense, and growing, interest in the NFL.
Unfortunately, the novel coronavirus wreaked havoc on the company’s plans in 2020. The Pro Football Hall of Fame was forced to cancel its annual enshrinement ceremony due to Covid-19 restrictions. And the virus added challenges to the company’s construction plans. It made it hard to ask all but the most speculative investors to invest in HOFV stock.
But as the economy continues to reopen and fans return to stadiums, now may be the time to take a closer look at HOFV stock.
The NFL is Committed to Canton
I grew up near Canton, Ohio, but I get the fact that it’s not a destination for many people. Nevertheless, if you’ve ever been to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, particularly during enshrinement week you know that Canton loves the NFL.
But more importantly, the NFL loves Canton. The enshrinement ceremony has become a week-long, multimedia event. The Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company is creating an infrastructure that fits that vision.
And half of the teams in the NFL as currently composed are located within an 8-hour drive to the Hall of Fame. Considering how frequently fan bases will travel to watch their favorite team, it’s not a leap to imagine that the Hall of Fame Village would become a desirable destination.
Embracing the Past, Inspiring the Future
The Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company has partnered with the NFL Alumni Association and is creating the NFL Alumni Academy complex and related facilities within the Hall of Fame Village. And the NFL Alumni Association has an ongoing mission of “Caring for Kids” across the country.
Additionally, the company is developing its Constellation Center for Excellence that will house a 5,000 square-foot research facility, laboratory and office space that will bring together a collection of medical professionals whose mission will be to identify solutions that enhance player performance, safety, health and wellness.
And with its Hall of Fantasy League, the company is embracing the popularity of Fantasy Football which should attract even the casual football fan.
About HOFV Stock
I suppose the good news is that if you bought HOFV stock on December 31, 2020 you’re sitting on a gain of 134%. But that’s cold comfort for individuals that bought shares when the company first went public in 2019.
Yes, steady revenue will be several quarters away. And the company faces the same construction challenges that are befalling many companies today. However, on the company’s most recent earnings call, Crawford said that construction is on track and on budget.
But the company has an additional, and by their own admission an unplanned source of revenue. I’m talking about the growing market for non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The NFL is a logical source for these assets. And with HOFV’s access to NFL alumni, including those in the Hall of Fame, there is an opportunity to create a library of digital collectible material for guests to view and purchase.
With all that said, you are buying a penny stock. And there’s always a risk that comes with that. However, if you believe that the NFL is going to remain America’s most popular professional sport, than it’s not hard to see the growth potential in HOFV stock.
With appropriate expectations, I think it’s appropriate to take a small position in HOFV stock and look to add to it as you get more news about the company’s development plans.
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