The founder of the Mascot Hall of Fame in Whiting says the facility will bring a new kind of entertainment to the region. David Raymond with Pennsylvania-based Raymond Entertainment says the hall of fame honors the "true unsung heroes of sports." Officials broke ground Friday on the $8 million facility, which is expected to open in late 2017.
Raymond describes Whiting as "the little, silly, whacky city that could" and says the city was chosen because of its history of celebrating fun. "It’s part of their brand. The Mascot Hall of Fame could not be in a more perfect place."
Whiting Mayor Joe Stahura says the hall of fame is a great opportunity to showcase the community and the city’s tourism activities.
"This is an opportunity to bring people into our community from the Chicagoland area. There is 9.5 million people within an hour drive time of Whiting," said Stahura. "This project is a really cool project. (It’s) based on education, so we’re really want to make sure that people know that this is a world-class children’s attraction."
The city says the 25,000 square-foot building will feature interactive exhibits, showcasing the roles, craft and science of mascots. The Mascot Hall of Fame also announced the ballot for the 2017 class of inductees. They include:
- Tommy Hawk (NHL – Chicago Blackhawks)
- Benny the Bull (NBA – Chicago Bulls)
- Sluggerrr (MLB – Kansas City Royals)
- Stuff (NBA – Orlando Magic)
- Nittany Lion (Penn State University)
- Hairy Dawg (University of Georgia)
You can vote for your favorite at the hall of fame’s website.
Raymond says Whiting was an easy choice to locate the hall of fame.