An indoor skydiving facility using virtual reality technology plans to open at Patriot Place in the fall of 2020.
Plans for Freedom Wind Tunnel Indoor Skydiving were reported on by The Foxboro Reporter last fall, but backers announced the opening target date earlier this week and also released a rendering of the facility.
North Attleboro resident and Army veteran Neal Gouck came up with the idea for Freedom Wind Tunnel, which will be between the CBS Sporting Club and Showcase Cinemas, and close to the entrance of Gillette Stadium.
According to a news release from Patriot Place, Gouck attended West Point and was part of the Black Knights skydiving team. After serving in the Army for 12 years, he and his wife Sally moved back to their hometown of North Attleboro to raise their five children.
Freedom Wind Tunnel will offer indoor skydiving to people of all ages and abilities. It will stand more than 100 feet tall and aim to be a family-oriented entertainment attraction, but will also be used for professional skydiving and military training.
“My military training taught me how to put all the right pieces and all the right partners together at the right time,” Gouck said. “Now, after five-plus years, we are ready to break ground and you might say, we are out of the plane and already in free fall.”
Skydivers will have the chance to use the latest virtual reality technology to transport themselves into an NFL stadium where they will deliver a game ball to the 50-yard-line, Patriot Place said. The virtual reality can also be used to teach avid skydivers how to get out of dangerous situations such as dealing with parachute malfunctions and coming too close to cliff faces. Freedom Wind also plans to bring historical and educational museum exhibits of skydiving to the facility.
Patriot Place Vice President and General Manager Brian Earley said Freedom Wind Tunnel will be “very unique to the region.”