First thing this morning, a Friend of Unfair Park directed our attention to a chat, with photos, currently taking place over at the Dallas Fort Worth Urban Forum, where posters are trying to decide of this new venue in the old Boardroom spot: permanent or temporary? One DFWUF'er said wrote that according to a friend, the Victory Park-ing spot is "a Nike college football showcase for HS student."
Patrick Michels, who just returned from a visit to Niketownish and brings us these photos, describes it thusly:
The entrance along those tall windows is lined with mannequins in college football unis and helmets in a case on the opposite site. To the left, there are about 10 rows of bleachers facing a wall with TVs, and there's a dining area in the back, with blue horseshoe-shaped booths. It's pretty well decked out for a pop-up shop, with all that stuff on the walls, but it looks about as permanent as the Hard Rock down the street -- not nearly as well outfitted as, say, an Applebee's.
So ... what the hell is it?
"Victory," says Nike spokesman Cindy Hamilton.
She explains on the other side, where we have more photos.
Hamilton tells Unfair Park that Victory opened about two weeks ago and has a lease to remain in place "for a few months," at least. And, no, it's not a restaurant, though food will be served on occasion. And, no, it's definitely not a bar -- what remains is but a holdover from the Boardroom days, Hamilton says. And, no, it's not just there for the Super Bowl, though it will no doubt be busy in coming weeks. And no, it's not open to the public -- though Hamilton has provided a way for the Friends of Unfair Park to sneak a peak at the bottom of this item.
So what is it?
"Our purpose in utilizing the space is, we wanted to create an area that could serve as an energy space for high school athletes," she says.
Pardon, but .. "energy space"?
"That means when you're looking at football and all the athletes that play a sport, we want to take advantage of their interest in that sport, especially as we head into the off-season," she says. "We want to create one place for them to gather and create energy around the sport and create momentum that carries them into the off-season and into next season."
For instance, she says, a few days ago they brought in some local high school coaches to meet and greet with TCU head coach Gary Patterson. And tonight, some coaches in town for a convention are heading down to Victory for a catered dinner (Patrick ran into them setting up late this evening).
I asked Hamilton: Is Nike using Victory as a test-run for something a bit more long-term ... like, oh, say, I dunno ... a Niketown, maybe?
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"I can only speak to what we're doing for Victory," she says. "Our plan right now is that it's a temporary energy space. We are keeping it at the moment targeted to high school students and coaches and athletes. If your readers want to see the space they can do so. We ask they connect with us by e-mail. Let me give you the e-mail address." And she did, sure enough. Mighty kind.
She's sending more photos tomorrow. Because when he was by there this evening, Patrick ran into a couple of gentlemen who asked him to stop photographing. And he did. He too is mighty kind.