The Washington Times - March 5, 2009, 05:07PM

I hope you had a chance today to read my article about the challenges facing sports museums all over the country. I point to several examples of struggling museums, but somehow missed the news a couple weeks ago about the closing of the Sports Museum of Los Angeles.

The museum, which opened the day afer Thanksgiving, is closing due to lack of visitors. It will stay open for large groups and the curator hopes to reopen it this summer.


This article in the LA Daily News does a good job of outlining some of the problems with all sports museums:

“Operational costs by individual operators of museums are too tough to manage. Most museums are owned by cities or counties, or have large fundraisers and memberships, to keep them sustained. A museum for sports is a fine idea — that’s what the Hall of Fame for baseball, football, basketball and hockey have found. But even they struggle with attendance and ticket pricing. They have to change to keep people coming back. The same exhibits in the same places work to an extent.”

About the museum and its curator Gary Cypress, reporter Tom Hoffarth writes:

“Cypress’ hurdle is probably that he started a collection of sports memorabilia and never intended it to be a museum. It doesn’t cover everything, and it’s not really L.A.-centric. Cypress was hoping also to come up with some naming rights to the place. On top of all that, it’s not in a place that’s convenient to general public traffic. Had it found a home in L.A. Live, or at Staples Center, that might be much easier to access. Instead it’s east of all that activity, in a part of downtown that may someday become revived as a business district, but right now sits in a somewhat destitute, run-down section [of LA].”