No longer will you have to travel all the way to the Super Bowl to, um, experience the NFL Experience.
The popular Super Bowl week attraction — a temporary theme park about all things football, operated by the NFL in the host city the week of the Super Bowl that typical draws tens of thousands of visitors each year — has just announced it will take up residency in one of New York City’s hottest new retail buildings — 20 Times Square.
The NFL Experience will be a joint venture with Cirque du Soleil, will occupy 40,000 square feet and four floors of the new building and is set to open in November, according to NFL.com.
The NFL Experience’s Times Square location will feature plenty of NFL apparel for sale, an archive of NFL Films, NFL video content will be streamed constantly on a huge four-story videoboard outside the building in the middle of Times Square and there will also be feature exhibits and live shows by Cirque du Soleil that “aim to encapsulate the NFL’s game day experience, from the intensity and sound of a pre-game locker room to the snow and frigid temperatures at Lambeau Field, aided by the NFL Films database.”
There has even been talk of broadcasting live NFL games on the four-story videoboard in Times Square during the season.
It also gives the NFL — a sports league that dominates America but has been trying for years to broaden its recognition internationally — a highly visible presence in one of the world’s best known and most popular tourist destinations.
“About 20 percent of the people who come to Times Square are international,” Dawn Hudson, the NFL’s chief marketing officer, said. “I wouldn’t say that is why we did it, but it’s certainly a thing we’re looking at. So, as we build it out, we have to make sure there is something for the most avid fan — and understand, our fans internationally are avid. Many of them know more than me about the NFL,” said Hudson.
20 Times Square is a mixed-use development from the Witkoff Group that will house the 39-story Edition Hotel, the NFL Experience, a number of bars and restaurants, other highly recognizable retail stores and a cabaret.