It’s all tied up with a minute left in the game. The Wildcats drive the ball down field for 60 yards and score the winning touchdown. The crowd goes crazy and the players lose their minds.
It sounds exciting, but what goes into making that game day magic possible? This is the story of the behind-the-scenes heroes who make the game day atmosphere so wonderful for the fans.
“We have to control the media relations behind the scenes that make the game flow together,” Assistant Director of External Affairs Ryan Maley said.
There are many different aspects that go into making the games we love to watch run smoothly, so that the fan experience can be the best one possible. One of the tough parts of preparing a field for game day is that most of the time people only notice when something has gone wrong, like if the stadium’s public address system begins cutting in and out, one of the banners on the field ends up getting torn down or the officials have been given the wrong game balls to use.
“There was an issue on the road this year where the officials kept giving us the wrong balls to use throughout the game,” Assistant Director of Athletic Communications Caleb Dunlop said.
The locker rooms have to be stocked with the materials that athletes need to perform well, footballs must be properly prepared and all of the technology that the coaches will use, like headsets, have to be in working condition. All of the cameras must be placed in the correct positions so that the game runs like clockwork. Other important jobs include: medical personnel, uniform inspectors, radio coordinators, technology troubleshooters, ball boys, chain crews, sideline helpers and the referees.
“From an all-encompassing standpoint, I would say there is roughly anywhere from 75 to 100 people that make games run correctly,” Dunlop said.
Just like a business focuses on making its consumers happy, athletic personnel focus on making sure games are the best that they can possibly be. The next time you are at a sporting event, take a look around and remember just how much work it took to make your experience comfortable.