Old Kmart In Pontiac To House Illinois Basketball Museum
A group representing basketball coaches in Illinois say they hope to open a basketball museum in Pontiac in 2018, or by Christmas 2017 at the earliest.
The Illinois Basketball Coaches Association says they are raising money to open the Basketball Museum of Illinois in a former Kmart building that’s part of the Vermillion Plaza shopping center along Historic U-S Route 66.
Coaches Association board member Bruce Firchau says the museum will cover Illinois basketball at all levels, both men’s and women’s action. He says the history of the game in Illinois includes countless stories that carry a lot of passion.
“When you come in, we want to you smell the popcorn and hear the shoes squeaking”, said Firchau. “We want you to feel that you are back in time, that you’re going to get the chance to learn about some of these great players.”
Firchau estimates they’ll need to raise about $4 million for the basketball museum, with a minimum of $2.4 million needed to open the first phase.
The Pontiac City Council this week approved a redevelopment agreement and letter of intent with the Coaches Association and the owners of the Kmart building, which Kmart vacated in 2012.