Groups looking to immerse themselves in New York City's sporting past now have a luxurious, history-packed option thanks to New York Sports Tours, which rolled into the city this summer. The tour gives groups the opportunity to travel through the city in high-end accommodations, complete with multimedia experience, celebrity appearances, and a meal at one of the city's most iconic restaurants.
Each tour seats nine guests for the three- or four-hour experience (with plans to grow to up to 20 per tour), taking visitors throughout Midtown Manhattan while a live narrator points out sports landmarks and unsung places of significance for baseball, football, boxing and many other sports. This is accompanied by high-production mini documentaries narrated by famed sportscaster and New York City native Mary Carillo.
The ride starts near Grand Central Terminal and tours through more than 50 points of interest, touching on not just sports but its connection to fields as varied as advertising, architecture, civil rights, entertainment, fashion and more (the attraction is aimed at both sports fans and non-fans alike). It ends at Keens Chophouse, the restaurant almost as famous as the many sports figures who have walked through its doors and sampled one of its clay pipes. Groups that spring for the full tour experience can enjoy an intimate lunch or dinner with a New York sports personality. Each guest receives a complimentary New York Sports Tours baseball cap.
"I consider myself a sports junkie -- I follow everything -- but even I learned so much on this tour, just narrating these videos," said Carillo during the tour's launch event, held at Keens, which included appearances by retired soccer goalkeeper and New York Red Bulls commentator Shep Messing, retired New York Knicks shooting guard John Starks and a keynote address by New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman (the group is pictured above, left to right: Messing, New York Sports Tours Founder Jordan Sprechman, Starks, Carillo and Cashman).
"This is a no-brainer," said Cashman. "It's entertaining, it's enjoyable, and touches on some of the greatest success stories, fights and frustrations as well as growth and evolution in sports in this area and brings that to life for us."
Jordan Sprechman, the founder of New York Sports Tours, described it as a "museum on wheels and an intimate, educational, entertaining and video-rich ride to many places that help show why sports matters."
Those interested in booking a tour can do so by contacting Kathy Paprocki at [email protected] or (212) 244-1132.