June 21, 2010

Tme to push for a sports museum in Bristol?

I know ESPN will hate the idea of creating a sports museum in Bristol, but this may be just the right time to push for it.
The powerful sports giant recently declared that it was shutting down ESPN Zone restaurants in New York City, Chicago, Baltimore, Washington and maybe some other places. All of them are stuffed full of sports junk that fans would gladly come to Bristol to ogle.
While there's no doubt that Bristol has gotten a great deal by having ESPN make it home - thousands of jobs, tons of taxes and very little danger or expense for the community.
But as a tourist destination, let's face it, ESPN is a dud. It's got some cool satellite dishes outside, but there's no way to go in and not much chance of running into Chris Berman let alone Tiger Woods.
A sports museum in Bristol would fill an obvious gap.
The best option, of course, would be to have the ESPN Sports Palace with an overflowing volume of sports stuff and some nifty 3-D cameras and screens for visitors to pretend they're on SportsCenter.
But even if ESPN doesn't want any formal connection to the place, a Bristol sports museum could still thrive just because it's in Bristol and so is ESPN. And it's possible the network might loan or give a new community museum some interesting tidbits to put on display. If not, well, maybe Mayor Art Ward can lift some cool stuff next time he's wandering around inside ESPN.
I don't know if it's possible, of course, but at the moment, ESPN has more sports-related displays than even it can do something with. Maybe there's a chance for Bristol to put it on display and pull some of the millions of ESPN fans to visit the Mum City.
ESPN has made sports and Bristol inseparable. The city should find a way to make some money out of that.
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

Why not hook up with the Bristol Sports Hall of Fame???

Anonymous said...

Who cares about ESPN, nobody will come all the way to Bristol to see a dumb museum. They need to build another pharmacy downtown, and maybe a nice dollar store like in Waterbury, a restaurant like Taco Bell or KFC that would be closer and do a lot of business, and a gas station to fill out the property.

Anonymous said...

There is a reason why the ESPN Zones are closing - the poor state of the economy. So while this is a nice dream the money is not there nor will it be.

Steve Collins said...

While I could easily imagine a display on Bristol's own sports history, nobody is going to travel to Bristol to see the Bristol Sports Hall of Fame. That's entirely a local niche.
As for the money, 7:54, you're wrong. Every developer who looks at downtown quickly focuses on the possibility of tying something in with ESPN. Why? Because the cachet alone brings in money and, when it's done, people. Somehow that's what Bristol needs to grab.
I know ESPN has been avoiding any commitment for years, but there does come a day when even ESPN has to accommodate its fans who want to come see the place, in some way or anothoer, with their own eyeballs.

Anonymous said...


So Bristol will probably get behind another losing proposition and then wonder why taxes keep going up.

The current mayor wouldn't even support the city's birthday celebration.

Billy said...

Ward will find a way NOT to fund this - unless he was in it! All Glory Ward - we all should know the real truth. Right Artie?

Anonymous said...

Fantastic idea. I'd love to see it happen.

Poppy said...

This could be part of redevelopment plan for Riverside avenue now that rte 72 is almost complete, drivers need a destination. Would make a great entrance to downtown development.

Anonymous said...


We do all know the real truth...the comments of someone over the age of 7 who calls himself "Billy" can't be taken seriously.

Art will be damned if he does fund this and damned if he doesn't...you and 8:35 PM are going to bitch and moan no matter what he does.

Anonymous said...

Do whatever you want, but please DO NOT plan on tax dollars!!!!

Anonymous said...

We cannot solve today's problems with the same level of
thinking that created them.
Albert Einstein

incumbent OUT !!!! said...

This might be the ideal time to push for a Democrat Party Museum .

With the fall elections approaching , i'm certain there will be lots and lots of abandoned materials available .

Unless of course they pull a clinton and steal anything that isn't nailed down on their way out the door .

Anonymous said...


Won't happen until the R's get their act together, get QUALITY candidates, and find out what is going on!