Times Square, that area of Broadway theaters, restaurants, and flashing walls of neon has been one of the most-visited attractions in New York City for decades.
But while its status as a premiere destination - and meeting destination - is unlikely to change anytime soon, plenty else about Times Square is evolving, including its group venues. Here are a few new Times Square attractions that have meeting space worth checking out.
Opry City Stage
A little bit of Nashville has made its way to the middle of New York City at Opry City Stage (pictured), the first satellite location of the famed Grand Ole Opry. Not only is this a restaurant and live music attraction, but it is a state-of-the-art special event venue, as well.
This four-level entertainment complex impresses at every turn with never-before-seen photographs capturing nine decades of unforgettable Opry moments and other artifacts and memorabilia. The first floor features retail space, and the next two floors house a 260-seat restaurant, a bar, and stages. The fourth floor is a dedicated music venue, reminiscent of Nashville's beloved Bluebird Café, which has its own stage and 250-seat private dining room.
The menu was created by the Bromberg brothers of the Blue Ribbon Restaurants and includes southern staples like chicken and waffles, biscuits and gravy, and fried green tomatoes.
Special event space here abounds as there is a mezzanine that can accommodate up to 250, the restaurant that can handle a reception for 500, the Studio at Opry City Stage that can service receptions of up to 250, or the entire complex that can accommodate up to 750.
The venue is a fully integrated plug-and-play broadcast facility with two performance stages. Each floor has three stage boxes, allowing for nine broadcast cameras, full communications, monitors, and audio. Each stage is also equipped with three Panasonic AW-130 PTZ broadcast cameras and both stages are integrated into a fully resourced control room.
National Geographic Encounter's Ocean Odyssey
The 60,000-square-foot venue allows visitors to journey through the depths of the ocean, has exceeded all attendance projections. The Encounter merges immersive entertainment and cinema with groundbreaking technology and photo-realistic animation, transporting guests underwater to experience rarely witnessed moments in nature.
National Geographic Encounter is not exactly a museum, exhibit, movie, aquarium or virtual reality; rather, the producers consulted with dozens of technologists and scientists to create a new kind of immersive experience that guests can walk through. It is also a unique venue for meetings and events with state-of-the-art space that is available for corporate events, dinners, receptions, and more for up to 1,000 people.
You don't have to be a James Bond enthusiast to enjoy New York's new museum dedicated to espionage. This new, interactive, and immersive museum casts members of your group as undercover agents and, in the process, builds team camaraderie. There are lasers to dodge, codes to crack, and liars to uncover. The museum focuses on the issues of privacy, security, and surveillance, and the importance of seeking the truth and questioning everything.
The two-story museum was built with the input of actual spies and computer hackers. Interactive exhibits in seven galleries include one in which you become a World War II spy given the task of having to decrypt a coded message that will lead to your escape. In addition, there is 60,000 square feet of meeting space and a "situation room" ideal for board meetings and intimate presentations.
NFL Experience Times Square
This experience takes visitors on a hero's journey from fan to player to champion. A partnership between the NFL and Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, NFL Experience Times Square spans 40,000 feet and four floors.
"Whether you are a seasoned veteran or new to the game, NFL Experience Times Square takes you on an unforgettable journey where you enter as a fan, become a player, and leave as a Super Bowl champion," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at the attraction's opening celebration in November of last year. The Stadium, a 4D theater, over 20 interactive activities, and the Vince Lombardi Trophy (on display here 365 days a year) are highlights.
For events, the 4D theater can accommodate up to 250, and there are three meeting spaces totaling 6,000 square feet of space, and a board room seating 36 to 150 attendees. Partial and full buyouts are available for up to 1,000 people.