Larry Bird museum shooting for 2023 opening

Indiana hoops legend Larry Bird chats with the New York City media at the Broadway debut of ''Magic-Bird.''
Indiana hoops legend Larry Bird chats with the New York City media at the Broadway debut of ''Magic-Bird.'' (IBJ photo/Lou Harry)

Organizers of a planned museum about basketball great Larry Bird in Terre Haute have pushed back its expected opening until 2023.

The museum will be part of the new Terre Haute Convention Center that is scheduled for a March 2022 opening. The museum section, however, is awaiting decisions on about what memorabilia will be available, the Tribune-Star reported.

The museum opening is “going to be about a year behind” the convention center’s opening, Gerard Hilferty of museum planning group Hilferty and Associates told Vigo County Capital Improvement Board last week.

Hilferty said designing the museum space will take about six months to complete, followed by six to nine months for audio visual production and exhibit constriction.

“We want the experience to work for hard core Larry Bird fans, as well as schoolchildren and a broad range of audiences,” Hilferty said.

Bird grew up in the southern Indiana town of French Lick. He created excitement during his days at Indiana State in Terre Haute when he led the school to the NCAA title game in 1979, although the Sycamores lost to Magic Johnson’s Michigan State team.

When the Celtics won the 1984 NBA Championship, Bird dedicated the win to Terre Haute. He was the Indiana Pacers coach and a top team executive after his playing career.

The museum is budgeted for $1.5 million as part of the $28 million convention center project.

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