Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Overhead view of the Pro Football Hall of Fame stadium in Canton , Ohio.

FirstNet is Part of the Game Plan for Canton during Pro Football Hall of Fame events

January 14, 2020

Canton, Ohio is home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, attracting visitors from around the country to celebrate the greatest in football history. Nicknamed the “Hall of Fame City,” each year Canton plays host to the Enshrinement Festival, and like other large events, it involves months of advance planning to ensure that first responders across multiple disciplines can communicate seamlessly and without disruption.

After the City of Canton Police Department had a positive experience using FirstNet for daily operations, the Department facilitated a collaboration with other local first responders from the Canton Fire Department and the Stark Country Sheriff’s Office and re-enlisted the network to provide communications support throughout the 2019 Enshrinement Festival events.

Almost immediately, FirstNet proved invaluable when the network was put to the test during a severe thunderstorm with threatening lightening that delayed the Festival’s Concert for Legends. Area first responders undertook a massive effort to evacuate over 30,000 concert-goers to a safe location. Despite an uptick in people connecting to the commercial networks, first responders across the three agencies stayed connected via FirstNet and communicated with one another inside and outside the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.  

“Everybody was on their phones for a period of time before the concert started. There was no way we could get on the public sector broadband to communicate, and we were able to seamlessly communicate with each other with our FirstNet Band 14 communication,” said Sheriff George Maier, Stark County Sheriff’s Office. “It made it a lot easier when we trying to coordinate moving 30,000 people around in the stadium. It was certainly an advantage.”

When it comes to coverage and knowing their officers will be able to connect during daily operations and large-scale events like the 2019 Enshrinement Festival, Maier says FirstNet will be a ‘significant’ tool for his first responders.  

More from FirstNet and Canton’s leaders in public safety video below: