Nik Wallenda's Grand Canyon Follow-Up: NYC and Major League Baseball
Nik Wallenda at a news conference after the Grand Canyon on Sunday, June 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Nik Wallenda has been on a nonstop media tour since checking another entry off his daredevil bucket list on June 23, 2013, when he became the first person in history to tightrope-walk across a section of the Grand Canyon. Only days after his accomplishment, the daredevil is already thinking about, and planning, his sequels.
"I'm hoping to do something over a baseball field, very, very soon. A Major League Baseball game, I'm hoping this summer," Wallenda tells Yahoo! TV. "We're still in negotiations, so I probably shouldn't name it yet, but we're getting close for sure. ... I'm hoping to be able to walk over a Major League Baseball game by the end of August."
Wallenda also mentions the pyramids in Egypt, the Great Wall of China, and the Eiffel Tower as being on his wish list for future tightrope walks, though he's also in the planning stages for a more local event: a tightrope walk between the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building in New York City.
NYC police commissioner Ray Kelly has already said he'll nix that idea, saying Wallenda's crossing of the Grand Canyon put him above the Colorado River, but walking the 4,000 feet between the two NYC skyscrapers would put everybody walking on the ground below in danger.
Wallenda is undeterred, though, as all of his past events, such as his 2012 ABC-broadcast walk across Niagara Falls, have taken years of planning and permission gathering. The falls crossing involved getting a law changed, for instance, and he began working on the Grand Canyon walk all the way back in 2008.
"The process begins behind closed doors, in my own offices, where my staff will get together, and we'll come up with a list of what the needs are, like how we keep the public safe," says Wallenda, who recently released his autobiography, "Balance: A Story of Faith, Family, and Life on the Line." "We kind of go through it, think about what the worst cases are. We [address] all those and answer what all the questions would be, figure out all the logistics, before we even approach any city officials or government officials.
"We try to get all of that stuff done in advance. These events are very complex, more complex than people realize, and we want to make sure no one [in the public] is ever injured. That's our No. 1 priority."
The Grand Canyon walk isn't likely to be Wallenda's final collaboration with Discovery Channel. He says he's talking with the network about an adventure reality series, an idea that probably should have already come to fruition, given his adventure event cred.
[Related: Nik Wallenda Canyon Walk Earns 13M Viewers]
"I would love to a reality series, and that's part of my dream with Discovery as an amazing partner," the 34-year-old says. "We're having some meetings actually now, talking about doing that and having a series where you'll get to know me a little bit better. I may play more of a hosting role than anything, but we'll see what happens."
Throughout his training and the planning necessary for his tightrope walks, Wallenda has become something of an expert in many different areas, from his own athletic training, of course, to the engineering matters involved with, say, making sure there's a reliable anchor for the rope he's going to use to walk across air that's the height of the Empire State Building above the ground.