A Day in the Life: Assistant Director of Sports Facilities

From the desk of Ed Snyder, the Assistant Director of Sports Facilities, who also manages the video equipment at the Erie Insurance Arena.

The last time you visited Erie Insurance Arena for an Erie BayHawks or Erie Otters game, did you look up at the video board? Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes?  A whole team of individuals works to create the videos, ads, graphics and promotions you see while at an event at the arena!

The process begins with the sports teams. Both the BayHawks and Otters have Entertainment Directors who develop all content you see during a game, including everything from player headshots to advertisements and on court/ice promotions.  Developing and building this content starts in the offseason.  Many hours go into making the graphics and videos that are shown.  Once everything is developed, the entire event is scripted.  Every commercial, promotion, announcement and “pump up” video is planned out and has a specific place and time within the event.

Erie Insurance Arena added all new Daktronics video board equipment in the summer of 2014. This state of the art control room is where all of the planning and developing turns into the game day experience.  On game day the Entertainment Director loads and organizes all of the elements of that nights show in the production computers.

Just before the arena doors are opened to the public, the Erie Insurance Arena Production Crew arrives. These individuals work for Erie Events and are the ones who make the game night experience come together.

Every game there are multiple cameras located throughout the arena. These are used to capture game footage and crowd shots.  Some of the cameras you can see, such as the courtside camera or Miles walking around the seating bowl with the wireless camera.  Some cameras are out of view, located on suite level or the catwalk.  In addition to the camera operators, there are multiple operators within the control room.  These operators control digital ads, videos, arena music and graphic overlays.

Erie Events provides the Otters with a web stream of every home game directly from the control room. The NBA D-League brings in a crew that streams all BayHawks games on the NBA YouTube channel.  In addition to streams, some Otters and BayHawks are broadcast on regional or national TV networks.  Last season, Rogers Sportsnet broadcast multiple OHL playoff games from Erie Insurance Arena all over Canada.  Some of these games were also shown on the NHL Network.  The MSG Network and NBATV Network will broadcast multiple BayHawks games a year.

So the next time you are at Erie Insurance Arena and see a camera operator looking into the crowd, make sure you smile and wave. You might just be on the video board!

Production room scoreboard

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