I'm not much of a museum guy. I'll chaperone my daughter's field trip to the Milwaukee Public Museum, but I typically don't actively seek out such places. So reading earlier this week about the National High School Coaches Association's plans to build a $10 million Sports Museum of America opened in May 2008 with more than 45,000 square feet, 21 original films, 30 interactive exhibits, 1,100 photographs and hundreds of artifacts in 19 galleries - along with great expectations of one million visitors per year. It's now closed and bankrupt after failing to come anywhere near that number.
Sure, the high school hall of fame, to be funded by the City of Easton and donations, sounds like a very cool facility, with an athletic testing center, training facilities and talking holograms expected to be part of the mix when it opens in late 2011. And I wish the NHSCA well with this endeavor, I really do. After all, I was a high school athlete (barely), I suspect both of my children will be high school athletes, and I cover the business of high school sports for AB. As Ferraro said during a recent press conference in which he unveiled plans for the hall of fame, "High school sports deserve notoriety, and now [they] will get it." I just hope that the notoriety - perhaps Ferraro meant to use "distinction" or some other more-positive term - doesn't stem from a failed venture.