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NFL, Cirque du Soleil teaming up in Times Square

Walt Disney World Awaken Summer - Media Preview

ORLANDO, FL - APRIL 18: Cirque du Soleil New Acts: Aerial Bamboo and B-Boys attends the Walt Disney World Awaken Summer - Media Preview on April 18, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)

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The NFL may have a team in Las Vegas in the near future and they’ll be able to ask one of their new marketing partners about life in Sin City.

Cirque du Soleil has been putting on shows in Vegas for a long time, although that won’t be the location of their new venture with the league. The NFL and the theatrical group are coming together to build an interactive exhibit in Times Square that’s expected to open in November 2017.

The New York Times reports that the exhibit will be housed on four floors of a building currently in construction. Cirque du Soleil is paying to build out the space and giving a licensing fee to the league, which will provide access to NFL Films and memorabilia while sharing in the profits. The 40,000 square foot space is expected to feature digital displays and a theatrical show that aims to “recreate what it is like to be on the sideline.”
“This attraction is both a simulation of what it’s like to go to a live game for 20 minutes and an exhibition,” NFL chief marketing officer Dawn Hudson said. “There will be something for everyone.”

What any of this will actually look like is a matter for the future, but the intent of the arrangement is less difficult to suss out. The partnership gives the league a way to reach people from across the world who might not be football fans, but who may be interested in seeing a Cirque du Soleil show during their visit to New York City. It fits with the league’s ongoing push for a larger international footprint and, based on the reported financing, doesn’t offer much financial downside for the league should it fail to catch fire.