Sports, business & technology

Sports Mirage of America

When I wrote to the press contacts for the in-progress Sports Museum of America in New York City, I asked to speak to someone about the interactive exhibits.  After all, they highly touted the museum’s technology powered by Cisco, and the museum will serve as the permanent home of the Heisman Trophy and the first women’s sports hall of fame.

Now I think I know why there has been a total lack of response.  On Tuesday night, before the sun set, I took the subway down to Wall Street solely to take pictures of the museum, which I expected to have, at a minimum, a façade or the shells of some very cool exhibits and displays.  At 26 Broadway, directly across from the famed Wall Street bull, was this:

The Sports Museum of America

Oh, so it is still “scheduled” to open this month, even though the Web site says May 7.  I walked towards the back of the building, and let’s just say that past 7 p.m. on a Tuesday night, the construction workers hadn’t called it a day:

The Sports Museum of America, under construction

So until the end of the month or the next or whenever the museum is actually supposed to open, the most that I can do is to regurgitate some of the features included in Cisco’s press release, such as the “Stadium of the Future” that will provide visitors a “sneak peek at the Cisco technologies that will make the experience of the game more intimate, interactive and immersive for fans.”

As if that weren’t ambiguous enough, the museum promises a social networking component on its Web site at, but other than the occasional chat session with a prominent athlete, it remains to be seen how this can compete with the likes of already-established sites like Facebook and MySpace.  The most promising feature is Cisco’s “TelePresence Experience,” which uses high-definition video for visitors to talk directly with celebrities.  This technology will double as a hosting solution for special events held by prominent sports figures.  On the surface, it sounds like fancy-talk for video conferencing equipment, but Cisco seems to amp this up a few notches with its digital component.

All of this is fine and dandy, but until something goes up, I’ll believe it when I see it.  At least there are other options in the area, such as taking the Staten Island Ferry, visiting the Museum of the American Indian, or taking the boat out to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty…


April 9, 2008 - Posted by | museums | ,

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