EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) -- ESPN's traveling College GameDay crew set up at the University of Oregon and is ready for another big broadcast this weekend with a few new details.
The crew built the television show’s stage on the UO Memorial Quad on Thursday, November 15, after arriving in Eugene just the day before. For the second year in a row, the stage will show the UO Business College’s Lillis Hall in the background.
College GameDay’s traveling crew is in Week 12 of the college football season. Every week, the bus travels to a different location, typically highlighting the most anticipated college football match-up of the week.
At every location, the same sixty person crew takes part, unloading the stage and other pieces of broadcast equipment out of seven different tractor-trailers.
While the build-out of the stage is one of the most extensive jobs, so is the wiring. Production crews spent all day Thursday stringing audio, video and power cables. Several of the cables fly several hundred feet from the stage in the middle of the Memorial Quad to one of the business college buildings.
Having been in Eugene before with the same College GameDay set in the same location, the process has been very smooth for crews. Many crew members say they love being in Eugene as well.
“"We do get to see different pockets of the United States, cultural diversity, [the] dynamic of how people celebrate college football or college football weekend in the southern part of the United States; then you come up to the Pacific Northwest and you know, it's a whole different dynamic,” says Judy Weiss, Operations Producer for ESPN College GameDay.
This is the second time GameDay has set up in the Memorial Quad with Lillis in the background. During the first setup in 2011, the UO put a large yellow O in the windows of Lillis Hall. It's still hanging there.
If you want to take part in GameDay, you can do it free of charge - all you have to do is show up. The broadcast runs from 6 to 9 AM; the first hour will airs on ESPN U. The second and third hours will air on ESPN. To get in the audience, ESPN will open the gates to a limited number of people beginning at 4 AM. “We just want energy. We want people. We want a crowd, we want energy, we want school spirit,” says Weiss.
People are encouraged to bring signs as well to appear in the background. Many students spent Thursday taking pictures of the broadcast set.
"You see it on TV, see all those other schools, [all the] great school spirit. Gotta come out, support your school - show that your school is the best. And [it] doesn't hurt that you get to see all these cool TV sportscasters up on stage there too . . .” says Ryan Grudnitski.
One of the new things fans will notice this year is the ticker”on the side of the stage - a small graphic and text board that will display messages. There will also be a Jumbotron showing video of the broadcast.
If you’re going, remember to be careful. Back when GameDay was at the UO in 2010, NewsSource 16 reported a Springfield man in a wheelchair who was nearly trampled in the midst of the crowd rushing to get in. The man’s chair was destroyed in the process.
Another perk for Duck fans on GameDay is at the UO Duck Store on 13th and Kincaid: the first one hundred UO students to go to the Duck Store will get a free 23-inch tall stand-up Duck.