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Local halls of fame are looking to consolidate in downtown Buffalo

Leaders of three local halls of fame and a sports fan group have joined forces to promote the construction of an all-inclusive Buffalo Niagara Hall of Fame in downtown Buffalo that would honor the area’s major figures in sports, music and broadcasting.

No location has been chosen for the project, a 20,000- to 50,000-square-foot facility that would include interactive exhibits, galleries, a theater, a research area and space for educational presentations, conferences and other events. Cost is estimated at $6 million to $12 million.

Collaborating in the plan are the Buffalo Broadcasters Association, the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame and Fandemoneum, a group of fans with large collections of Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres items.

The group has consulted with Hadley Exhibits of Buffalo, which has worked on the 9/11 Memorial and the Baseball Hall of Fame, to come up with a preliminary design. A website has been established – bnhof.org – and a crowd funding campaign has been started on Kickstarter to accept donations. Phillip Beuth of the Buffalo Broadcasters Association, former president of WKBW-TV, has committed $25,000 to the project.

“We have the collections for the music, sports and entertainment fields,” says Therese Forton-Barnes, president of the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame and the group’s spokeswoman. “We have the people in our collaborating organizations who are experts. ... We are ready to enter the next phase, so let’s build it.”