By Ross Forman
Amazing, one-of-a-kind, game-worn sports memorabilia, combined with unique, challenging and informative interactive elements – welcome to SCORE!, the first multi-sport interactive store and museum, offering incredible artifacts from around the world of sports.
With its tagline “Be The Legend,” SCORE! teamed on this project with the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, Pro Football Hall of Fame, Boxing Hall of Fame and others for a must-see stop along the world famous Las Vegas Strip.
- Located inside the Luxor Hotel &
Casino (second floor), 3900
Las Vegas Blvd.
Open daily at 10 a.m, with the last
admission at 9 p.m.
Admission tickets are $28 per person,
$20 for Nevada residents and $15 for
children under 12.
For more information, visit www.scorelv.com.
SCORE! opened at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in December 2012, with more than 300 treasured artifacts inside the 10,000 sq.-ft. facility. We’re talking Walter Payton and Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth and Muhammad Ali. And even Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa – with an asterisk, literally.
“We want our artifacts to invoke a response. We want people to see the stuff, talk about it, and for a lot of our younger visitors, those are names – Bonds, McGwire and Sosa – that they want to see,” said SCORE! COO Adam Suissa, 28, a New York native who has lived in Las Vegas for the past two years.
The Baseball Hall of Fame rejected the opportunity to be a part of SCORE!, so organizers created their own baseball hall of fame, thus sports memorabilia from Bonds, Sosa and McGwire is featured next to an asterisk. SCORE! also offers a showcase of amazing Pete Rose memorabilia.
“You can’t have this project without baseball,” Suissa said.
The SCORE! experience winds through eight sport-specific galleries, showcasing eye-popping sports memorabilia, particularly game-worn jerseys, once owned by noted collector Jock Smith, who died in 2012. Smith is memorialized with a Hall of Fame-esque plaque inside the exhibit.
“It’s been a great experience so far. All of our guests have been real happy, seeing all of the memorabilia and participating in all of the interactive elements,” Suissa said. “We’re looking forward to piggy-backing on all of the great sporting events that happen in Las Vegas, from the Super Bowl to March Madness.”
SCORE! opened last May as just a retail store, selling licensed goods related to multiple sports. That was organizers’ prime time to survey visitors about what and who they’d like to see in the museum. They also surveyed visitors to the store in the Luxor Hotel.
That’s when Suissa admits they were learning about their potential customers and the products they were looking to buy, and thus what artifacts the museum should feature.
Suissa and his crew quickly learned that the Luxor is popular among Oakland Raiders fans, thus, there is an entire display case dedicated to the life of one of the greatest Raiders of all time: Marcus Allen.
“Football is the No. 1-selling sport in the store, so it was a natural that football was the first sport to showcase in the museum,” said Suissa, who noted that there is a Heisman Trophy and Super Bowl rings on display.
“What made this project so hard to finish was to get all of our partners under one roof and to have them check their egos at the door. That’s why this hasn’t been done before.”
But now, visitors can gawk at a game-worn jerseys of Terry Bradshaw and Wayne Gretzky, or admire a rare Babe Ruth-worn jersey that Suissa claims is valued at more than $1 million. There also are race-worn, fire-retardant suits from NASCAR legends Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Richard Petty, along with soccer memorabilia from Mia Hamm, Megan Rapinoe and others.
“It was very difficult getting all of the Hall of Fames and leagues together. We had to re-affirm them that we have no affiliation with gambling, none whatsoever,” Suissa said. “Once everyone understood that this was a family-friendly environment, next to two wonderful exhibits, that silenced all skeptics.”
SCORE! fills a huge void for Las Vegas tourists who happen to be sports fans. Suissa said visitors to SCORE! have crossed the gamut – old and young, male and female, etc. Some visitors will read every plaque; some are more interested in the interactive elements.
SCORE! is the Super Bowl to some, the Stanley Cup to others, and just a trip down Pop Culture Lane for another group. It’s more than just a sports experience.
“The museum is what you make of it. Sure, you can be in and out in 45 minutes, or you can read every plaque and be in there for two hours or more,” Suissa said.
About 80 percent of the sports memorabilia in the museum comes from Jock Smith, and his daughter Janay is now the SCORE! president and curator. Smith was a collector for more than 30 years, Suissa said. “Sports memorabilia was a hobby and passion for Jock.”
Thus, SCORE! has an amazing array of memorabilia. Heck, organizers had to select which Joe Namath game-worn jersey to display – there were six to choose from.
Suissa said the memorabilia will be rotated, though he did not say how often.
“We picked the stuff that we felt was the most relevant, the stuff that we thought people would want to see now,” Suissa said.
SCORE! officials have started an initiative to work with Clark County schools, encouraging kids to learn about sports, health and nutrition. SCORE! also is partners with the Las Vegas Legends in the Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL) and the Las Vegas 51s, the 2013 Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets.
The SCORE! retail store is available for public and private events – as items for sale can be rolled into storage for maximum capacity. The SCORE! grand opening, for instance, featured about 500 attendees, with cocktails and finger-foods themed to sports. In baseball, there were, naturally, hot dogs and Cracker Jack available.
“We’re pursuing the parties and events very strongly right now,” Suissa said. “The facility is great for corporate team-building events.”
SCORE! also has had numerous radio, TV and Internet shows broadcast inside the store. Plus, SCORE! has had many in-store autograph signings, including Marcus Allen, Warren Moon, Larry Holmes and others. More sports stars have been SCORE! visitors, including Mike Tyson, Tim Brown, Cliff Branch and Ken Shamrock, among others.
“Our plans are to use this Las Vegas store as the franchise model, and bring these SCORE! stores/museums to other major sports cities,” Suissa said.
SCORE! has been attracting about 200 guests daily in the first two months since opening. There are two shifts of seven employees, and SCORE! is open daily.
Suissa confirmed that SCORE! officials have received interest from the College Football Hall of Fame, the Golf Hall of Fame and UFC, among others, in being included in the museum. The problem is limited space.
To help promote SCORE! in 2012, O.J. Simpson’s white Bronco from the famed police chase was on display in the lobby of the Luxor Hotel & Casino.
“It was a very sensitive piece, offering a ‘Where were you?’ feeling, because everyone
remembers where they were during The Chase,” Suissa said. “That vehicle certainly drew a lot of reactions.”
Then again, so do most of the souvenirs inside SCORE!, where the wow-factor is plentiful. After all, where else can you see Marcus Allen’s high school jacket, a Walter Payton game-worn helmet (from the Barry Halper collection), an amazing display showcasing the evolution of hockey equipment, actual used nose swabs from a boxing fight, Ty Cobb’s game-worn pants, Stan Musial’s worn satin jersey (with a zipper in the front) and much more, such as relics worn by college basketball icon Don Haskins, goodies from the great Meadowlark Lemon or a replica, autographed high school basketball jersey of President Obama.
Here’s a look at the favorite artifacts among the majority of SCORE! guests,
- Football: Marcus Allen diamond-studded football. “Every woman who walks through here says, ‘Oh my God, I want that.’” Suissa said.
- Hockey: Eight-sided puck
- Boxing: Mike Tyson professional contract
- Baseball: Babe Ruth jersey
- Soccer: World Cup
- NASCAR: Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Dale Earnhardt Sr. race-worn suits
- Basketball: LeBron James high school jersey
Here’s a look at COO Adam Suissa’s personal favorite items inside SCORE! at the Luxor Hotel & Casino, per sport:
- Football: Jim Brown MVP Trophy
- Hockey: Evgeni Malkin Stanley Cup jersey
- Boxing: George Foreman robe worn at the Rumble in the Jungle on Oct. 30, 1974
- Baseball: Reggie Jackson’s first New York Yankees jersey
- Soccer: Landon Donovan game-winning soccer ball or 1950 men’s World Cup jersey
- NASCAR: Kurt and Kyle Busch race-worn jumpsuits
- Basketball: “Pistol” Pete Maravich game-worn jersey, with “Pistol” on the back of the jersey. “That’s super rare,” Suissa said.
Ross Forman is a freelance contributor to SCD. He can be reached at Rossco814@aol.com.