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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

D1 Colleges Without a Photo Work Area at Football Games
David Dermer, Photographer
Kent | Oh | USA | Posted: 10:04 PM on 09.02.14
->> I was just wondering if anyone has covered a NCAA football game at the Division 1 level that did not have a work area for credentialed photographers.

By work area I mean a place to set up, leave your gear during games and transmit images. Just bare bones. Nothing fancy.

And if you have experienced this what school was it at and was the issue ever addressed/fixed?
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Dean Legge, Photographer
Athens | GA | USA | Posted: 10:32 PM on 09.02.14
->> It depends on the school, but the worst I've dealt with is at Vanderbilt. But they have a small area in the press box. But it is very, very small. Missouri's set up isn't the greatest either. Clemson, too. In both cases you have to leave the stadium and re-enter it after walking down a hill. Georgia Tech isn't the greatest on Earth.

So, no, for me I've not shot at a place where there's no photo set up at all. But there are places that are not that great. Several places in the SEC (Tennessee and Georgia) have really nice set ups that have been built in the last decade.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 11:10 PM on 09.02.14
->> In Utah, BYU has a photo workroom just off the field next to the visiting team's locker room. It is CAT-5 hard wired.

At the Univ. of Utah the photographers share a room on the press level where the stats are run off copier machines. This makes it nice because you get the info before the reporters do. It is both hard wire and wireless.

At the other smaller universities the photographers set up is at the back of the press boxes behind the reporters or they transmit from the field using their laptops and cell phones. Utah State has no elevator so you have to walk about 6-8 stories to the press box.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 11:13 PM on 09.02.14
->> At Weber State in Ogden the photographer's area is on the second floor of a building at one end zone where alumni and sponsors watch well catered. The first floor is the team locker rooms. Wireless.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 12:30 AM on 09.03.14
->> Correction: It is Utah State with no elevator to the press box that has the endzone building where the photographers can file.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 12:43 AM on 09.03.14
->> Sorry to say ... My alma mater Fresno State.

Bulldog Stadium is one of the worst/photographer unfriendly D1 venues I have ever worked in.
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G.M. Andrews, Photographer
Mobile | AL | USA | Posted: 3:25 AM on 09.03.14
->> Bert, my alma mater, the University of Southern Mississippi, has no field-level work area. Shooters have to go up through the stands to the press box to file.

Duke has a small room that's really a storage area at field level that fills up fast.

South Alabama has a small board room at field level that is shared with some of the school's IT folks that keep the network up and running for the tick scanners. Myself and Michael Chang with Getty squeezed our way in for the home games last season. It's a tight fit.

Most schools in the SEC that I've covered have field level photo work areas with tables, chairs, internet that's usually wireless and fast and little space to store a lot of gear.
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G.M. Andrews, Photographer
Mobile | AL | USA | Posted: 3:28 AM on 09.03.14
->> (Wish we had an edit function…)

To add this; Duke has working space for photogs up in the press box, but it's a little bit of a trip to get there.
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Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 8:55 AM on 09.03.14
->> I shoot DII...what is a "Photo Work Area"? (Sarcastic Remark)
Some schools have plenty of room in the press box, others you have to curl up in a hallway. Some I just head back to my office if I am close enough and have enough time before deadline. But you gotta love the open field access, and the refs are really cool.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 10:24 AM on 09.03.14
->> Well the best around here is Boston College, large workroom, secured and staffed. Wired & wi-fi and a ramp for those with heavy rollers... Food and beverages setup in the workroom. Only a few steps from the field. Really a NICE setup. For the last few years UMass has played their home games at Gillette Stadium. Needless to say we're working out of an NFL media room. Nothing to complain about there either.
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Chris Machian, Photographer, Assistant
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 10:41 AM on 09.03.14
->> I have to head to Fresno soon, what makes it so unpleasant Bert?
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Doug Strickland, Photographer
Chattanooga | TN | USA | Posted: 11:25 AM on 09.03.14
->> UT Chattanooga similarly has only the press box at Finley Stadium to work from, with no field level work area, and if you have a lot of gear it's troublesome because you're crammed into a tight space with reporters. Not much elbow room. If you're trying to get up there just before the half or at the half, beware: they hold the elevators for 2 minutes for coaches.
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Brian Westerholt, Photographer
Kannapolis | NC | USA | Posted: 11:44 AM on 09.03.14
->> Wake Forest does not have a work area at field level, but there is a spacious work area on the 6th floor of the Deacon Tower with wi-fi and wired Internet as well as anchors mounted in the work cubicles to secure your laptop with a cable.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 9:06 PM on 09.03.14
->> Chris: Unless Fresno State has changed the setup for the photographers dramatically in the past couple of years ... the official workroom is up in the pressbox. Hope you're in shape because it's a nice run up the stairs from the field level, pushing through the crowd to get there.

Hopefully they've installed Internet that can be accessed on the field. Last time I was there, the only Internet was up in the pressbox.

Also, unless there has been a big crackdown, the sidelines for Bulldog games is the most uncontrolled and crowded I have seen. (Haven't been to Notre Dame, Texas or Alabama.) It seems they let all of their boosters and sponsors stand along the sidelines, many of them bringing their kids with them (I thought there was an NCAA rule about children on the sidelines?)

It certainly isn't like the days when I went to school there during coach Jim Sweeney's first go-around... and the the only people on the sidelines at Radcliffe Stadium (the Bulldogs home at the time) were me, my buddy Barry Wong and either Ryan Miles Marty or Ralph Thronberry from the Fresno Bee!
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Brian Westerholt, Photographer
Kannapolis | NC | USA | Posted: 10:23 PM on 09.03.14
->> Not to change the subject, but the rule as far as I know is you have to be 16 years old to be on the sideline. I know this because last season, when my oldest son was 15, he was on the sidelines with me for the start of the game, when one of the game day security folks was taking down names in a notebook of people with children under the age of 16, which he said was an NCAA rule. My son watched the rest of the game from the press box - better view anyways. :-)
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Byron Hetzler, Photographer, Photo Editor
Granby | CO | USA | Posted: 10:36 PM on 09.03.14
->> Unless things have changed since I was there last, Colorado is no picnic either. There is a work area, but it is OUTSIDE of the press box--well okay, it is has walls on three sides. Working when it is cold and the wind is blowing is big fun. So you have to go up through the crowd from the field and get to the stairs or elevator. The work area basically sits on the landing between the elevator/stairs and the entrance to the press box. So there is a steady stream of traffic. When I was shooting there frequently they also stored the warmers for the press box food out there.
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Michael Chen, Photographer, Assistant
Saratoga | CA | USA | Posted: 10:58 PM on 09.03.14
->> Arizona State allegedly has a tiny space near the field that is basically janitor's closet. It literally contains mops, brooms, and an ethernet cable.

The time I was there, I never actually found this mythical closet. The photographers there just left their stuff in the corner of the field, so we all just went along with what they did.

They did let us work in the press box after the game, however.

I know this closet exists though; a good friend of mine texted me from said closet two years later saying that she had found it.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 11:31 PM on 09.03.14
->> Duke falls into the category of great places to cover football but not such a great place to work. Oh the sidelines are great. Not as crowded as others, plenty of room to walk behind the benches, and on hot days you can get gatorade. The work area at field level....not so great. A small room which houses the track and field equipment and the marching bands halftime stuff is where we work. Oh and the dance team and cheerleaders also call this place home. At halftime it's a madhouse. But that's the GOOD news. There is NO wifi signal or ethernet access. That combined with the fact that mifi units will not work during the game (or halftime) make filing your photos a hair raising nightmare not for the faint of heart. We've been trying for years to get Duke to get us access but it has been for naught. If you absolutely have to get photos back at the half you have to fight your way through the crowd to the elevator (or three flights of stairs) to the press box. But getting through the crowd at the only two field level entries could take you 15 minutes. And unless you are working on deadline for a wire service or a daily publication there is just no room in this work area for the casual shooters. We are hoping the new renovations coming will address this problem. As far as other stadiums in North Carolina. N.C. State and UNC have great on field work spaces with ultra hi-speed wifi AND cat5 cabling. However, as bad as Duke might be the absolute worst is East Carolina. The only way to access the press box area is one elevator. And as of last year the new AD gave priority to the upper crust ticket holders from the last five minutes of the first half and until the boxes emptied at games' end. The game I covered last year was a nightmare. I moved three photos at the half and missed the whole third quarter because I couldn't access the elevator. And forget about the stairs. They go right through the stands and that takes even longer.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 3:32 PM on 09.09.14
->> Hey gang! When you have some time ... how about updating the Sports Shooter Guide with current info on venues you work at regularly.

Also love to see some recommendations on nearby restaurants by venues ... especially those with kitchens open late.

Mahalo!
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Mark Buffalo, Photographer
Lonoke | AR | USA | Posted: 5:29 PM on 09.09.14
->> Mississippi State's Davis Wade Stadium and Vanderbilt Stadium, you have to go back to the press box. Kind of a pain but that's just part of it. War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, where the Razorbacks play 1 game a season, you have to also go to the press box. Luckily, they have a new press box, which opened 4 years ago and is very spacious.
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Steve Franz, Photographer
Baton Rouge | LA | USA | Posted: 5:34 PM on 09.09.14
->> LSU is pretty good.
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Josh Weisberg, Photographer
Redmond | WA | | Posted: 6:27 PM on 09.09.14
->> Husky Stadium in Seattle, before the 2013 remodel, had a Costco tent off the field with a few folding tables and extension cords. When it rained (like it ever rained...), you were assured your gear would get wet. I wound up carrying only what I needed, leaving my bags in my car.

When they remodeled the stadium, they put a nice work room right off the field.
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Wade Payne, Photographer, Assistant
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 10:19 PM on 09.09.14
->> Clemson has been the worst for me. GREAT place to shoot, but their "workroom" is under the stands where the cheerleader's store flags and other things. They do have tables, but if it rains I'm not sure what they do. Vanderbilt is tough because you have to take an elevator up to the press room and they hold it at the half and end of the game to get coaches up and down. They have tables but if you don't get there WAY EARLY you may not get a space....and you have to share them with others who are eating. As for a good one, the University of Tennessee has been the absolute BEST I've been to, although it can get crowded......only because they have a buffet and kitchen. Better than a lot of pro stadiums I've been to. That's my two cents worth!
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Bob Markey, Photographer
Royal Palm Beach | FL | USA | Posted: 1:41 AM on 09.10.14
->> Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton has the best photography working conditions I have experienced, with a ground floor photo work room adjacent to one of the tunnels to the field, monitors to watch the game, coolers of drinks and more. Only problem: The geniuses who designed this beautiful, newish 30,000-seat stadium only installed electric outlets on the edges of the room (only one side available; other is for the coach's press conference). The tables in the middle have no electricity and those sitting along the edges have to bring extension cords and work well with their neighbors.

WiFi is excellent.

Upstairs in the 6th floor press box, photographers can set up with a gorgeous view of the field (and the Atlantic Ocean a mile or two away), with plenty of electrical outlets, food drink and more. Now, getting up and down can take awhile when the elevators are full of folks going to and from the two club levels.

The worst for me: Florida International University near Miami, whose media (at least a couple of years ago) shared a tent-like facility with folding tables, electric cords on the floor and an occasional wind that would blow through the site near the southeast corner and wreak havoc. Since I was there last, the stadium was enclosed and expanded, so I can only hope a real press box was installed.

The University of Miami's photo/press work area at Joe Robbie Stadium feels like a dungeon and still uses cat-5 Internet connections (at least last year). I guess that's the same area used by Dolphins media?
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Joe Nicola, Photographer
Fort Worth | TX | USA | Posted: 2:53 PM on 09.17.14
->> As much as I hate to admit this, being a Longhorn fan and all, but Texas A&M has one of the best set ups I've ever seen...beats out several of the bowl game venues I've seen, including Jerry Jones's mother ship, AT&T stadium in Arlington. A&M has an auditorium-like space with a giant screen TV in there (carrying their game, duh), giant tubs of ice cold drinks, snacks, wi-fi, hard wire, and comfy stadium seating for your comfort. Plus, your credential comes with a voucher for food at any of the Kyle Field vendors. In the press box, the last time I was there, I cashed that in for a Chick-Fil-A meal. SUPER friendly at Kyle Field --some of THE nicest people of all the NCAA events I've ever covered. Further, it's LITERALLY about a 30 second walk from the endzone opposite their version of GodzillaTron.

UT, does have a room that is fairly easy to access for media, but it's not particularly spacious, and it is hard-wired and has wi-fi, if you'd rather.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 12:22 PM on 09.23.14
->> The photo work area at the LA Memorial Coliseum --- home of the USC Trojans --- is a tarp covered spot behind an endzone with folding tables and chairs.

The Internet has been improved in the past couple of years.

When it's crowded, you might need to bum a power strip.

It's not really that secure.

Games during the winter can get pretty cold.

I haven't covered a game there in rain, but I imagine it's pretty sloppy and you have some concerns on leaving your laptop there.

But it beats walking up to the pressbox to edit.
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Thread Title: D1 Colleges Without a Photo Work Area at Football Games
Thread Started By: David Dermer
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