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Downtown Montreal Has A Free Arcade-Like Basketball Court With Interactive Games

Smart, light-up hoops keep score for you.

MTL Blog, Staff Writer
​Someone spins a basketball with red, green, yellow, and white stripes. Right: A person wearing a Montreal Alliance shirt in mid-air about to dunk a ball, while someone else dribbles on the court in the background.

Someone spins a basketball with red, green, yellow, and white stripes. Right: A person wearing a Montreal Alliance shirt in mid-air about to dunk a ball, while someone else dribbles on the court in the background.

There's nothing ordinary about NRML BSKT, a new smart basketball court in downtown Montreal with light-up hoops and an electronic scoreboard that runs six mini-games. Nestled in a quiet outdoor area of the Delta Hotel, the project is the latest addition to the "I like working downtown" series of playful installations aimed at incentivizing people to return to the city centre after many began working remotely during the pandemic.

The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM) partnered with creative studio Harrison Fun to reimagine a sporty addition to the line-up. The result is half a dozen basketball games that integrate technology and design, making them accessible to all ages.

Decked out in primary colours and a pixelated basketball motif, NRML BSKT borrows from 80s arcade-game aesthetics. A bright blue interface at the entrance lets players select their game of choice and keep track of scores via a large scoreboard.

"It's not only about gaming. It's also about keeping people surprised and bringing something new downtown," Michel Leblanc, CCMM President and CEO, told MTL Blog.

"Workers want to have access to sports, culinary and cultural experiences as part of their return to the workplace. We can reinvent unused spaces, like a hotel swimming pool, to create unique social spaces in Montreal."

Teams of between two and 20 people can reserve the NRML BSKT court for free for an hour at a time using an online system.

Groups can pick from a selection of games:

  • Circuit: Score as many points as possible by scoring points in the hoops that light up.
  • Circuit +: Score as many points in the time allocated per basket
  • Domination: Two teams score points to try to change the colour of as many of the opposing team's hoops as possible
  • Throw from the Centre: Score as many points in an allotted time per basket from the center of the court.
  • Elimination: Shoot hoops in an allotted time to stay on the field and win the game.
  • Classic NRML: Like in a regular pick-up game, the goal is to outsmart and block the opposing team from scoring points in their basket.

The court is free and can be reserved by downtown residents, workers, and customers looking to reconnect with friends and get their adrenaline pumping.

NRML BSKT

When: Open daily until September 15, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: Delta Hotel, 475 Av. du Président-Kennedy

Cost: Free

Accessible to people with reduced mobility

Website

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