Saturday, September 07, 2002

Sources: C-SPAN to Open "C-SPAN World Theme Park" Outside Washington

(WASHINGTON) Well-placed sources have reported to ARN&R that C-SPAN (the Cable and Satellite Public Affairs Network) is close to signing a deal with several ride manufacturers and Arlington County, Virginia to open a 55-acre amusement park in 2004. The park will have a combined focus on public affairs and what C-SPAN insiders call "the greatest political public affairs coverage-oriented thrills on Earth!"

At opening, the park is expected to have over 800 televisions showing the three C-SPAN television networks, as well as disguised speakers throughout the park featuring highlights from C-SPAN Radio, including hourly playback of LBJ seeking custom Haggar pants with really deep pockets. On the flat ride front, the primary provider is Wisdom. The highlighted ride, "Washington Journal," is a customized Starship 2000 in which the ride rotates approximately once every minute, features all-fluorescent lighting, and a soundtrack made up entirely of Phil Gramm speeches.

C-SPAN executives and marketing staff are said to be particularly excited about the park's initial coaster, tentatively called the "Politicator," which will operate at speeds upwards of three miles per hour and have three queue lines -- one each for Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. A manufacturer has yet to be chosen.

Admission pricing is still under consideration. C-SPAN is reportedly requesting that Six Flags, Paramount, Cedar Fair, and other major park chains make voluntary contributions to provide C-SPAN World Theme Park for free. "The public relations appeal would be enormous," said an inside source at C-SPAN. "We expect our park to do even better in visitor count than C-SPAN does in viewership, and every one of those visitors would hear "C-SPAN World Theme Park: Created by America's Theme Park Companies."

If voluntary donations are not forthcoming, C-SPAN is expected to obtain Congressional action to mandate them.