Before Rocky III, released in 1982, Stallone commissioned A. Thomas Schomberg to create a bronze statue of Rocky. Three 2-ton, 10-foot-tall copies were cast. One was installed atop the steps for the filming of Rocky III and was ultimately relocated at the bottom of the steps. The second one is in the San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum in San Diego, California. The third was planned, but was not cast. It is unknown if Schomberg ever cast the third, but it has been put up for auction several times to raise funds for charities. The third was listed on eBay three separate times between 2002-2005, with a starting bid of US$5,000,000, then US$3,000,000, and finally $1,000,000 to raise funds for the International Institute for Sport and Olympic History, but has failed to sell. It is unknown if the third was ever sold or cast.
After filming was complete, a debate arose between the Art Museum and Philadelphia's Art Commission over the meaning of "art". City officials, who argued that the statue was not "art" but a "movie prop", eventually moved it to the front of the Wachovia Spectrum in South Philadelphia.
It was later returned to the Art Museum for the filming of Rocky V, Mannequin and Philadelphia, then brought back to the Spectrum. The statue was replaced with a bronze inlay of Converse sneaker footprints with the name "Rocky" above them.
On September 8, 2006, the Rocky statue was returned to the Art Museum and placed on a pedestal in a grassy area near the foot of the steps to the right of the Museum. The unveiling ceremony included live music, the debut of the first full trailer for Rocky Balboa, and a free showing of the first Rocky movie. At the ceremony, Philadelphia Mayor John Street said that the steps were one of Philly's biggest tourist attractions, and that Stallone, a native New Yorker, had become "the city's favorite adopted son".