SVG In-Venue Series Recap: 71 Professional Teams Give Insight on Gameday Productions During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In March 2020, all six professional leagues in the United States — Major League Baseball, National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, Women’s National Basketball Association, and Major League Soccer — underwent a period that has never been seen before in the history of televised sports. From fake crowd noise and the heavy reliance of pre-recorded content to safety protocols, like tiered systems, and short-handed teams in the control room, the era of productions within empty stadiums birthed lessons that will withstand the test of time. Over the past year, SVG spoke with 71 franchises about how they developed an entertaining strategy for fans watching at home and how it changed throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the Ballpark

Fans were displayed on the videoboard before and during games at Tropicana Field.

Although Major League Baseball continued with a 60-game regular season, the pulse of what makes professional baseball exciting remained at home. SVG’s At the Ballpark took you behind the control room door and broke down what it was like to produce a fan-less venue experience.

Teams included:

Click HERE for more MLB interviews

On the Gridiron

Inside the control room at Empower Field at Mile High during the Broncos’ Week 1 opener.

Many professional sports opted for a return to play inside a sanitized bubble last summer, but without skipping a beat, the NFL soldiered on with regular-season games in all 30 stadiums across the country. SVG’s On the Gridiron examined the new routines, habits, and production philosophies of in-venue personnel on any given Thursday, Sunday, or Monday.

Teams included:

Click HERE for more NFL interviews

On the Hardwood

Despite the fan-less arena, the Trail Blazers production provided pregame elements, including smoke during player introductions.

The tail end of 2020 into the beginning of 2021 still presented challenges to in-venue production teams. Playing outside of the Orlando bubble, SVG’s On the Hardwood examined the hardships, creative ideas, and teamwork of NBA organizations at their respective home arenas.

Teams included:

Click HERE for more NBA interviews

At the Rink

In-venue elements were continued without fans in the stands, including the lowering of the large Golden Knights helmet.

The National Hockey League was the last of the four major U.S. sports leagues to host a non-bubble regular season. As fans gradually make their return to the seats, SVG’s At the Rink looked at the operations of NHL organizations to see how they adapted to a sense of normalcy.

Teams included:

Click HERE for more NHL interviews

In the W

3 Point Productions’ Matt Heuer (left) worked with the Atlanta Dream on the court at Media Day.

After a year filled with calls for gender and racial equity, it’s time to celebrate the 25th season of the WNBA. SVG’s In the W highlights the efforts and technological solutions of a handful of production crews in the league.

Teams included:

Click HERE for more WNBA interviews

On the Pitch

Wireless cameras are again being deployed in the lower bowl of Yankee Stadium.

The past 12 months have been a whirlwind for Major League Soccer. As some clubs in the league see attendance return to pre-pandemic levels, SVG’s On the Pitch breaks down the job of a production staff before, during, and after the official’s whistle is blown.

Teams included:

Click HERE for more MLS interviews

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