The Rocky Balboa Statue
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.)
When to visit: Anytime during daylight hours
Time needed: 10-30 minutes
Website: Rocky Statue Facebook (unofficial)
I saw most of the Rocky movies when I was very young, so I confess that I don’t remember much about the films, aside from Mr. T and Hulk Hogan starring in a couple of them.
When I was in Philly last year, I wasn’t going to pass up the chance to pose with the iconic statue of Sly Stallone as Rocky Balboa. The iconic Rocky Balboa statue!
The bronze likeness of Rocky was created in 1980 by sculptor A. Thomas Schomberg and now stands outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Here he is, the Italian Stallion up close.
Stallone presented the statue to the city in 1982. The statue was actually created for a scene in Rocky III. For a while, it stood outside the Spectrum arena, but in 2006, it was moved to its current location.
Visiting is easy. It’s free to see the statue, and guests typically line up and take turns posing with Rocky. There are vendors nearby selling unofficial Rocky merchandise as well.
If you’re visiting by yourself, some of these vendors may offer to take your photo and in exchange for a tip.
And of course, if you’re a Rocky fan, don’t just stop to pose with the statue itself. Walk over to the main entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and run up the famous Rocky steps.
When should you visit the Rocky statue? As with all free public attractions, use your best judgment and common sense.
Coming on a weekday morning will result in a much smaller crowd than coming on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. I stopped by on a weekday morning and only found a dozen or so other tourists milling around.
How tall is the Rocky statue? It measures about 8 feet, 6 inches, and weighs around 2000 pounds.
Do people run up and down the museum steps like Rocky did? They sure do! It’s one of the best workouts in Philly. You may see some of them while you’re waiting.
This area has some paid parking lots but not much free parking, so you may want to take rideshare or public transit.
You won’t need to spend much time here, but you could be waiting 15 minutes or more depending how long the line is.
Who was Rocky Balboa? He was the boxer from the 1980s Rocky films, played by Sylvester Stallone. I had no idea the Rocky story was based on a true story.
It turns out there was a longshot fighter called Chuck Wepner who once took Muhammad Ali almost a full 15 rounds before losing in a technical knockout.
That story inspired the first Rocky film in 1976, which turned into a franchise. Sequels that followed included Rocky II (1979), Rocky III (1982), Rocky IV (1985), Rocky V (1990), Rocky Balboa (2006), Creed (2015), and Creed II (2018.)
The films have featured appearances by numerous celebrities. Hulk Hogan appeared in Rocky III, before he became the most popular face in professional wrestling.
At last estimate, the Rocky statue attracts more than 2.5 million visitors per year. That’s more than 6800 per day! If you assume 12 hours of daylight per day on average, that’s more than 500 per hour. So yes, it’s crowded!
Interestingly, the Museum of Art gets about 2 million visitors annually. So Rocky sees more foot traffic than the famous museum he’s posing in front of.
The Rocky Balboa Statue is one of the most unique and quirky things to do in Philadelphia, along with Magic Gardens, the City Hall Tower, and the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site.
Would you want to pose with Rocky?