Philip Schwalb, a Duke graduate, visited the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001 and lamented the paltry crowd there. Instead of simply forgetting about it, though, he took the initiative to found the Sports Museum of America, which opens today in New York City. The tagline for the museum: “The Nation’s First and Only All Sports Experience.”
Although today is the museum’s grand opening, it already houses the Heisman Trophy and the women’s sports Hall of Fame. In addition, it’s right in the heart of Manhattan, at the southern tip of Broadway where most ticker-tape parades start. In his research, Schwalb, also the museum’s CEO, discovered that the combined attendance of the football (Canton, Ohio), baseball (Cooperstown, N.Y.) and basketball (Springfield, Mass.) Halls of Fame is still less than the attendance of Madame Tussaud’s wax museum in New Yor,.
Tickets are steep at more than $20, but perhaps Schwalb would make an exception for a fellow Dukie.
–by Ben Cohen