“I’ve always wanted to go to San Fran,” I overheard an overly loud lady on the tram exclaim to her friend this week. Then continuing at a noise level that would wake the dead she listed all the sights she would have to see if she ever made the trip across the waves. The Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, the Castro District, she listed all the attractions you’d expect her to nominate. There was one missing from her list that would be a must see for us if we were stateside – Hooptopia!
What is Hooptopia you ask?
Built within the Chase Centre complex, the Warriors new $1.6 billion home in San Francisco, it is an interactive experience offering fans the chance to live the life of an NBA player. The concept as described by Warriors President, Rick Welts as “wanting to trace the career of an NBA player, from their [recruitment] all the way to winning a championship.”
“We’re transitioning from a sports team that rented an arena to play its basketball games, to a sports and entertainment company that owns and operates one of the premier venues in the world,” he said. “We want to create an intellectual property that can have more value beyond just our appearance at the Chase Center,” he told adweek.com.
What this means for fans is a 90-minute experience where they test their skills in the Combine Challenge, get drafted into the NBA, fly 40′ through the air to dunk like an All-Star, travel on the team jet, a celebrate a championship win with a confetti shower. There’s even a room where fans can have their very own champagne Championship celebration.
That’s right you get put through your paces in your very own NBA Combin where your wingspan, vertical leap and ‘leg force’ are measured and calculated. Your future teammates then cheer you on (by way of video screen) as you complete a short agility run.
From there it is on to your date with the NBA Draft, where you finally receive the call you’ve waited your life for and make your way for a photo opportunity with Adam Silver. From meeting the cardboard Adam Silver you are ‘flown’ via the Warriors private jet to San Francisco to acquaint yourself with your locker and don a jersey complete with your name on it.
Then you can experience the championship winning experience that will elude the Warriors this season. After you and your teammates are drown by a massive confetti shower you have the opportunity to don ponchos and goggles to celebrate with the customary spraying of champagne.
If that isn’t enough you also have the opportunity on your journey from prospect to champion to live out your greatest slam dunk fantasy. For those of us who can only dream of leaping above the rim, the ‘Slam Jam’ gives you the extra boost you need by lifting you by harness through the air to deliver the tomahawk jam you always dreamed of.
It probably isn’t the kind of place that annoying lady on the tram would end up but it is definitely on our to do list if and when we find ourselves in San Francisco.