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Annual Hall of Fame Game moved to Thursday night

The Hall of Fame Game is moving.

Not away from historic Canton, Ohio, but from Sunday evening to Thursday night.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Wednesday that this year's preseason classic will kick off on Thursday for the first time in NFL history, with the game scheduled for August 3, 2017, in the new Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

On Friday, the Hall will honor the Class of 2017 during the Enshrinees' Gold Jacket Dinner at the Canton Memorial Civic Center. Then on Saturday, Aug. 5, the Class of 2017 will be formally enshrined into the Hall of Fame during a nationally televised ceremony at the stadium. Sunday's festivities will include the Enshrinees' Roundtable and the annual Concert for Legends.

It's a sensible schedule shift that magnifies the enshrinement ceremony and no longer holds up the Hall of Fame Game -- often a sleepy affair -- as the final piece in the puzzle.

For anyone who's been to Canton for the Hall of Fame ceremony, it's a truly special event -- no matter how they schedule it. It's something every football fan should do at least once before leaving the Earth. Maybe this is your year?

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