The Sports Museum of America opened in May 2008 with a promise of 20 original films, 19 galleries and memorabilia from America’s best sports stars. One of the items on display was Brandi Chastain’s famous sports bra from the 1999 World Cup.
Less than a year after it opened, the museum closed, citing poor attendance as the contributing factor for not having enough funds to continue. Those who had lent artefacts were told that they had to pay $250 plus postage for their return, but Chastain was thrilled when the bra was returned to her San Jose home without having to pay a penny. It had been held in a storage facility by the US bankruptcy court after the closure of the museum and it took Chastain numerous phone calls, emails and the help of a lawyer to get the bra returned to her.
The bra was made famous when Chastain proudly shed her shirt on the pitch after winning the World Cup game with a penalty kick. She wanted it back in time for the 10th anniversary of the victory. The bra will be back on the pitch for forthcoming games, however this time it will be behind glass on display.