Monday, December 6, 2021

JRA-designed Mascot Hall of Fame opens in Whiting, Indiana

 

Jack Rouse Associates (JRA) is helping these fan favorites jump off the computer and television screens and into their own home at the Mascot Hall of Fame in Whiting, Indiana. Having held its grand opening on December 26, this 25,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art family fun zone aims to make people laugh and draw them closer to the teams they love, while educating families on the art and science of mascots. Offering permanent exhibits, and plenty of activities and fun, this attraction is expected to welcome 50,000 visitors each year and have a $240 million impact on the region over the next 20 years.

The Mascot Hall of Fame is a hall of fame for United States sports mascots. It was founded by David Raymond, who was the original Phillie Phanatic from 1978 to 1993. It was founded as an online-only hall, with an induction ceremony taking place each year in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In September 2014, the hall began planning its move to the City of Whiting, Indiana, to develop a permanent Mascot Hall of Fame on the south shore of Lake Michigan.

JRA provided master planning, attraction planning and design, graphic design, media production, art direction, and project management on the new facility.

Each year, mascots are elected into the Mascot Hall of Fame by the voting membership and an executive committee made up of performers, sports executives, and other individuals intimate with the mascot community. The mascots go through a nomination process that ends with the Executive Committee selecting six finalists in each category to be placed on the ballot for consideration. There is a public online vote that contributes a percentage of the final tally. In 2006, the Hall added a separate class to honor college mascots.

The mission of the Mascot Hall of Fame is to honor mascot performers, performances, and programs that have positively affected their communities. The Mascot Hall of Fame has also partnered with the Boys and Girls Clubs and holds an online auction contributing to that cause. The main bulk of the items up for auction are pieces of signed sports memorabilia donated by professional sports teams around the nation.

To be eligible for the Mascot Hall of Fame, a mascot must have existed for a minimum of 5 years. They must also impact both their sport and community, inspire their fans, and consistently give memorable and groundbreaking performances.

Joe Kleimanhttp://www.themedreality.com
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe has been News Editor and contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, and MiceChat. His blog, ThemedReality.com takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @themedreality Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his fiancé, two dogs, and a ghost.

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