NFL and Cirque du Soleil Taking over Times Square

a 40,000 sq ft, 350-seater in the heart of NYC

So, how does the NFL expand into world markets? Simple, just team up with a French-Canadian nouveau circus act and place a huge interactive theater in Times Square.


At first glance, after hearing this news, we were a bit befuddled.

Looks kind of like the offensive line of the Jags, no?


(Variety Magazine)

But, there’s not much difference between OBJ’s dazzling touchdown catch and a Cirque performance, right? Certainly, those who do not have much of an interest in the NFL will be surprised and possibly intrigued. The NFL is estimating ticket sales of 25,000 per week, so let’s not kid ourselves, this is also about profit.

We’ll be interested to see if this tie-in also translates to broadcast games in terms of halftime performances, promotional bumpers, etc. And it may work in reverse too.

Dawn Hudson, the NFL’s Chief Marketing Officer, said that there is fan interest in broadcasting live NFL games on their videoboard on the outside of the building (located at 20 Times Square) but that the league has yet to contact its broadcast partners.

“There is certainly fan interest, but we have to work with our network partners who are broadcasting it to see their comfort level on things like that, which we will do,” Hudson said. “We haven’t been able to talk to them until today.”


NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, made the announcement on behalf of the NFL on Thursday, stating, “(We’re trying to) bring fans of all ages and abilities into the huddle.”


As PFM covers music, here is some background on the music that Cirque uses. Since 1984, various composers have been commissioned to write the music for Cirque du Soleil’s many productions. The company’s first composer was René Dupéré. Benoit Jutras, a longtime arranger and musical director for the company, began filling the role of composer with Quidam. He would eventually be followed by composers Violaine Corradi, Simon Carpentier, Philippe Leduc, Maria Bonzanigo, Jean-François Coté, Berna Ceppas, Guy Dubuc and Marc Lessard, among others.

In recent years though, the company has been moving away from original scores and rearranging popular songs for their newer shows that Cirque du Soleil produces, LoveViva Elvis, and Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour . The soundtracks to these shows consist of new arrangements of songs by The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Michael Jackson, respectively.

It will be interesting to see if Cirque uses some classic NFL music or composes new music for this interactive installation.


courtesy of and Connor Orr

“About 20 percent of the people who come to Times Square are international,” Hudson said. “I wouldn’t say that is why we did it, but it’s certainly a thing we’re looking at. So as we build it out, we have to make sure there is something for the most avid fan — and understand, our fans internationally are avid. Many of them know more than me about the NFL.”

“But at the same time, for someone just learning the sport it can’t be so foreign. You have to be able to experience and learn about it.”

Scott Zeiger, Cirque’s managing director, commented on the types of experiences they would be looking at.

“There will be recreations of an NFL locker room, there will be memorabilia from great superstars of years past and current, there will be touch screen-immersive expositions,” he said, speaking of the outer, exhibition-driven portion of the theater.

“Once you are in the immersive theater, it is the full-on multimedia experience. There will be screens in front of you, screens on the side walls and ceilings, and it will be as if you are in the game — from the locker room to the tunnel to the sidelines and into the huddle and the winning of the game…it might snow in the theater, it may rain in the theater. We’re going to let our imaginations run wild.”


Their imaginations have already run wild, it appears.


Here’s hoping it works out.

Hey, Daniel Lamarre – Let us know if you need some good, new music.



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