NFL, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group Creates Immersive NFL Experience in NYC
The NFL and Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group has unveiled NFL Experience Times Square in the heart of New York City. The attraction, located on the corner of West 47th Street and 7th Avenue at 20 Times Square, spans 40,000 square feet and four floors, bringing fans an interactive and extensive football experience.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Strahan welcomed the NFL FLAG 13-14 Boys and Girls New York Regional Winners to kick off NFL Experience’s opening last night in Times Square. The two teams will compete for the title in their respective divisions during the NFL FLAG Championships at the 2018 Pro Bowl in Orlando.
“We partnered with Cirque du Soleil to create a captivating and authentic football experience that enables fans to step into the locker room and onto the field of an NFL stadium,” says Goodell. “Whether you are a seasoned veteran or new to the game, NFL Experience Times Square takes you on an unforgettable journey where you enter as a fan, become a player, and leave as a Super Bowl champion.”
Blending state-of-the-art technology with hands-on activities, NFL Experience transports visitors directly into the game for an interactive exploration of football, from the practice field to the Super Bowl. Fans can test their skills to see how they measure up to professional football players, learn game strategy from Coach Jon Gruden, and experience the adrenaline-pumping action of the NFL in an immersive 4D movie theater.
“NFL Experience Times Square is a next-generation entertainment attraction that will quickly join the list of unique, must-see New York City destinations,” said NFL Experience President Danny Boockvar. “We are tremendously proud to open our doors and bring New Yorkers and those visiting from across the country – and the world – closer to the action than ever before.”
“Going through NFL Experience brought me back to the game and triggered the emotions that I cherished as a player,” says Strahan. “As someone who spent 15 years in the League, I think the NFL Experience offers the most authentic look at the game outside of playing on Sundays.”
NFL Experience Times Square is Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group’s first experiential sports venture, blending the company’s extensive knowledge as a world-renowned live production company and the excitement of the NFL into one venue.
“As we expand our entertainment offering beyond performing arts into immersive experiences, we are thrilled to partner with the world’s leading sports brand. This project has not only allowed us to push our creative boundaries to showcase the NFL from a whole new perspective, but also open the fascinating world of professional sports to Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group,” says Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group.
NFL Experience brings football to life for visitors in unique ways, including:
- The Stadium (4D Theater): The artistry of NFL Films combines with the thrill-ride of a rollercoaster in a 180-seat state-of-the-art theater featuring a 10-minute, thrilling show. Four-dimension special effects bring fans onto the field with the weather elements and aromas from NFL games, and motion seats recreate the movement from plays.
- The 32’s: Explore team traditions, fun facts, top plays, and even get a look inside home stadiums around the country – all available on displays throughout the exhibit. Fans will get to test their knowledge or vote for favorite players, and take a tour through all 32 teams with authentic club treasures on display.
- The Equipment Room: Guests will enter the training grounds and measure their skills with a combination of digital and physical tracking activities. Blocking dummies will measure tackle strength and guests will see how their vertical jump compares to NFL players and friends. Finally, fans will get inspired by postgame speeches from NFL coaches and view gear worn by the stars themselves.
- Suit Up: Guests will pick their team, select a jersey number, and suit up as a real player with the help of digital face-tracking technology, turning them into a computer-generated image of their favorite star.
- Game Plan: Meet former NFL Coach Jon Gruden and get ready for the big game by learning a real NFL play: DICE RIGHT 61 BULLSEYE X INDIVIDUAL. This projection system gives guests the experience of virtually taking part in a quarterback meeting with Coach Gruden.
- Huddle Up: An immersive point of view experience that puts fans inside the team huddle to call DICE RIGHT 61 BULLSEYE X INDIVIDUAL as taught by Coach Jon Gruden. Custom media monitors and interactive game play allow guests to be the quarterback, pick the receiver and run the play, earning the praise of the coach.
- Quarterback Challenge: Guests will become the quarterback of their team and watch as their favorite receiver runs the play. In three attempts, they will pass the football to the receiver on screen and compare performance stats – such as speed and completion percentage – against their team’s quarterback.
- Super Bowl Celebration: Every year, one team feels the euphoria of standing on the field in a shower of confetti after winning the Super Bowl. An augmented reality experience will put guests amongst the winning team for the biggest NFL celebration. Fans will also experience the thrill of a virtual post-Super Bowl Gatorade dunk and take home a memorable photo capturing the fun.
- Champions Stage: All the hard work, sweat and tears culminate with the Vince Lombardi Trophy, and guests will commemorate their triumph with a photo beside the iconic symbol. Additionally, guests can get an up-close look at every Super Bowl Championship ring, from the Green Bay Packers’ Super Bowl I ring to the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl LI ring containing 283 diamonds.
- Postgame Tunnel: The closing postgame tunnel gives guests a one-of-a-kind perspective into the game from both the player and fan perspective with exclusive, never-before-seen footage.
- Food and Beverage: The only place fans can eat through all 31 NFL stadiums. The space features a food court and bar overlooking Times Square, serving dishes specific to each stadium. Bringing in locally sourced ingredients from every NFL hometown and input from all 31 stadium head chefs, the rotating menu will change based on the big game of the week.
- Special NFL Player Appearances: Hall of Famers, current players, and NFL Legends from around the league will make appearances and participate in fan experiences throughout the year.
Tickets to NFL Experience Times Square begin at $39 and can be purchased on-site or online.