The Lower Plaza of Rockefeller Center, bordered with trees and the flag 3 of many nations, nearly always has a festive air. In fall and winter it is a pattern of skaters in colored skirts and caps. In spring and summer it is where bands sometimes play and patrons of the Promenade Cafe dine outdoors in the shade of bright umbrellas.
But next month the plaza becomes still something else, the setting for "SPORTS ILLUSTRATED in Rockefeller Center," a sports festival which from July 14 through July 19 is the highlight among highlights of New York's summer-long Summer Festival.
The Summer Festival was started lour years ago by the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau to promote the vacation attractions of the world's largest city. This year the bureau invited SPORTS ILLUSTRATED to join in the civic celebration.
Nothing could have pleased us more, especially when the cordial cooperation of Rockefeller Center, Inc. made it possible to present performances on our very doorstep—a place where I can keep an eye on them with minimum (see arrow) effort.
June 22, 1958
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED will produce for the Sports Festival two one-hour shows each day, at 12:30 and 5:30. They will include diving, tennis, golf, basketball and weight lifting exhibitions and all the other events which have made the Sports Festival a welcome spectacle wherever it has appeared. A regular part of the early show will be a sports fashion show and-fall fashion preview, staged by Saks Fifth Avenue.
Among those already scheduled as announcers are Mel Allen, Jinx Falkenburg, Peter Lind Hayes, Mary Healy and Maggi McNellis; and as performers, Vicki Draves, Dr. Sammy Lee, Pat McCormick, Arnold Palmer, Vic Seixas, Bonnie Prudden and Bob Mathias.
Between now and July 14 many of you, particularly those near New York, will hear more about the Sports Festival. Meanwhile, New York City. Rockefeller Center, Saks Fifth Avenue and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED hope you can come. And if you can, may I extend a personal invitation to cross the street to the reception center in the Time & Life Building—where Summer Festival, Sports Festival or any time at all, you are always welcome.