Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What's up with Sports Museums?

So, two sports museums in two of the largest metropolitan areas in the nation have folded within a month of one another, and now the company running one of them, the Sports Museum of America in NYC, is filing for Chapter 11.

I would really love to know what went wrong here. I didn't visit either museum but I heard that at least the one in LA had a lot of heart. I don't think it's that the American public just isn't interested in sports museums--there are so many rabid sports fans out there, you'd think that a museum housing the equipment and uniforms of sports legends would be a no-brainer. Plus there is the fact that the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY has been going strong for ages--and it's not exactly in an urban setting with a large population.

So, seriously, what happened here, folks? Any thoughts? Any clues?

It's also interesting to note that these were both for-profit museums. Would they have managed to stay afloat had they been nonprofits or would that have killed them more quickly? I will be watching other for-profit museums (the International Spy Museum in DC, Pirate Soul in Florida, Museum of Sex in NYC) with interest to see how they weather this financial storm.

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