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NYC's Sports Museum closes after 9 months

The Sports Museum of America closed Fridayafternine months but could reopen if a buyer is found.

The for-profit museum opened in May in Lower Manhattan andwasbilled as the first of its kind in the U.S.

Without a buyer, its collection will be dismantled in the nextfew months, founder and chief executive Philip Schwalb said. Allits memorabilia is on loan from individuals and sportsorganizations.

The board of directors is seeking $10 million, which would coverthe museum's debts. Among the groups Schwalb is approaching isMagic Johnson Enterprises.

If there is no buyer, the Heisman Trophy will again need to finda new home. The museum housed the Heisman and the Billie JeanKingInternational Women's Sports Center.

Schwalb had hoped to draw 1 million visitors in the museum'sfirst year but was falling short of that goal. He blamed aninsufficient marketing budget. Many of the museum's investorsworked on Wall Street, he said, so it became harder to raise moneyonce the financial crisis hit.

Construction costs also ran over by $5 million.


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