- The Magazine
- Current Issue
- Events & Shows
- Web Extras
- Yellow Pages
Sports Hall of Fame experience inside Luxor Hotel & Casino lets visitors "Be the Legend."
Photo: Charlie Johnston (all)
Few sports fans need an introduction to Pete Rose. In his 24-year career, Rose built perhaps the most impressive résumé in the history of baseball, the highlights of which include: all-time leader in hits (4,256), games played (3,562), and at-bats (14,053); three World Series rings, three batting titles, one MVP award, two Gold Gloves, and Rookie of the Year.
His 18 All-Star appearances at an unprecedented five different positions (first, second, and third bases; left and right fields) also stand out. What’s glaringly absent from his laundry list of athletic achievements, however, is an induction into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. Look for his name in Cooperstown, New York—you won’t find it.
Rose is on permanent ineligibility from baseball’s hall of heroes for gambling on games while playing for and managing the Cincinnati Reds, and the Hall of Fame doesn’t look kindly on games of chance—well, non-athletic games of chance, anyway. Whether you agree with his banishment or not, to Rose’s credit he maintains that he never bet against the Reds.
To the Hall of Fame’s credit, its decision makers are consistent. So, when Jim Beckmann proposed that Cooperstown loan his new Las Vegas sports hall of fame and fan experience some of their exhibits, he was denied on the grounds that Sin City is the world’s proud capitol of, you guessed it, gambling. So it is only fitting that Beckmann’s SCORE! Interactive Sports Exhibit inside Luxor Hotel & Casino would overlook Rose’s past indiscretions to pay tribute to one of baseball’s greatest legends with an entire exhibit dedicated to his athletic achievements. On the topic of the Hall of Fame’s reluctance to recognize those players whose integrity doesn’t quite match their athleticism, SCORE! has an asterisk exhibit, dedicated to steroid-sluggers Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa.
As fortuitous as the lack of partnership between SCORE! and Cooperstown has turned out to be, the attraction was looked upon more kindly by other major sports’ halls of fame, making it the only place in the world where fans can admire hundreds of prized pieces from the best professional basketball, football, hockey, and soccer players; boxers; and NASCAR drivers all under one roof.
The multimillion-dollar assemblage of sporting artifacts includes the 1999 Women’s World Cup trophy (one of only two World Cup trophies ever awarded to a team from the United States), the 1981 Heisman Trophy awarded to USC tailback Marcus Allen, four of Allen’s Super Bowl rings, several World Series trophies, and Jim Brown’s 1957 NFL MVP trophy.
Being home to such unique and rare memorabilia, and the largest collection of game-worn jerseys anywhere in the world, is plenty to make SCORE! worth visiting, but the attraction is more than an impressive museum. “It’s the Smithsonian meets Disneyland for sports fans,” Beckmann, CEO of SCORE!, says.
The 10,000-square-foot exhibit is divided into eight galleries. To immediately set visitors’ minds to the experience angle of the attraction, the first gallery is a mock sports agent office where fans, by way of an integrated computer system and iPads, start their professional sports careers—what SCORE! calls “Be the Legend.”
After perusing the gallery’s collection of actual contracts, documents, and negotiations between players, agents, and professional sports teams, guests enter their personal information and athletic aspirations into the iPad system before posing in front of a green screen for publicity photos. At the end of the tour, guests can see for themselves through virtual lockers synopses of their careers featuring their team uniforms, press releases, and personalized magazine covers highlighting their inductions into their favorite hall of fame.
Next up is SCORE!’s football gallery. In addition to items on loan from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, the exhibit features a database from which fans can search for their favorite players, and interactive peripheral vision and college combine tests that allow fans to see first-hand some of what it takes to make the big time. The next exhibit features professional hockey and includes an NHL-themed stick-handling drill along with memorabilia from Toronto’s Hockey Hall of Fame.
Given Las Vegas’ significant role in professional boxing, it is fitting that the SCORE! gallery devoted to the sport is a praise-worthy homage. Designed with walls that resemble a gritty gym and ropes around its square perimeter, it features streaming video of some of boxing’s greatest fights and rare items from the Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York.
The next exhibit is SCORE!’s own American Baseball Hall of Fame, not to be confused with its Cooperstown counterpart, where fans can see the taboo, only-in-Vegas Pete Rose and steroid sluggers exhibits alongside jerseys worn by baseball greats spanning the last century. An interactive baseball speed-pitch test allows fans to see how they stack up to the pros.
The U.S. Soccer Federation loaned items for SCORE!’s soccer exhibit, including the 1999 Women’s World Cup trophy and jerseys worn by the athletes who earned it. Next, the NASCAR exhibit includes fire suits from some of racing’s most popular drivers and a pit-stop challenge where fans can see how long it would take them to get their favorite drivers out of the pits and back into the race. The basketball exhibit features a vertical-leap test, silhouettes to compare height and shoe size to basketball’s greats, and game-worn jerseys and other items from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Before hitting the lockers to admire and share their virtual athletic careers on social media, guests exit the sports galleries by way of a training room exhibit dedicated to sports injuries and the people who treat them. In addition to the exhibits and galleries, SCORE! includes a Fan Shop with gear from every professional sport it features and a fully functioning broadcast studio.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
SCORE! Interactive Sports Exhibit
Luxor Hotel & Casino
3900 Las Vegas Blvd. S.,
Las Vegas, NV 89119