By DIANE TURNER-HURNS
Journal & Topics Reporter
As reported by the Journal & Topics Newspapers in 2013, the Big Ten Conference’s new museum, which opened Saturday, June 7 at its headquarters in Rosemont, is more than just a ‘jersey behind the glass’; it is a wide-ranging interactive digital experience.
Titled ‘The Big Ten Experience’, the new free digital museum’s 13 interactive exhibits showcase the conference's academic and athletic history from its beginning in 1896. This is the first Big Ten Conference museum.
The conference offices occupy about 40,000 sq. ft. of a 50,000 sq. ft. structure in MB Financial Park at Rosemont.
In the September 2013 Journal & Topics article, which highlighted the conference move from Park Ridge to Rosemont, Deputy Commissioner Brad Traviolia said approximately 3,000 sq. ft. on the first floor would be used for an interactive conference museum.
Traviolia said in 2013 the museum would be interactive allowing visitors to learn about the conference in a fun way.
“We wanted to get away from the jersey behind the glass museum,” Traviolia explained.
“Since the day we moved into Rosemont, about a year and a half ago, we have been working with the schools and conference staff in putting the museum together,” Big Ten Associate Director of Communications Adam Augustine said on Monday. “We wanted to capitalize on the great foot traffic the Rosemont entertainment district offers to draw attendees into the museum.”
Also, Augustine said with so many Big Ten alumni and fans in the area it was just a great fit.
“We think it’s a great way to celebrate the history and highlights of the Big Ten and to make it available for free, seven days a week and near so many alumni, students and fans,” Augustine said.
The new museum gives patrons an interactive behind-the-scenes, look at student-athletes and school traditions, along with radio and television features of notable conference accomplishments on and off the field.
Touch-screen monitors feature stories on Big Ten schools including key biographies, prominent speeches, architecture and correspondence from notable alumni.
The museum displays include a compilation of the many firsts, bests, icons and timelines; an interactive game where attendees can attempt to catch a football, stop a soccer ball or block a hockey puck; an exhibit of fun facts and photos; and, a roster of legends and conference leaders recalled in a feature video.
Attendees can watch live game footage, hear 14 program-changing audio calls from men’s basketball games on a hardwood court and relive famous game moments from 1902 through today on video.
The museum is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends.