The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M’s preparations for College GameDay visit

The+ESPN+Gameday+film+crew+prepares+to+run+a+live+broadcast+during+the+College+Gameday+stage+setup+in+Spence+Park.

The ESPN Gameday film crew prepares to run a live broadcast during the College Gameday stage setup in Spence Park.

The orange trucks and vans roll in, the white tents are set up at Spence Park and students discuss what their signs will say, but behind all the noise is a university making sure each grass clipping and angle of Kyle Field is perfectly planned for a successful visit from ESPN’s College GameDay.
The Oct. 8 football game against the Tennessee Volunteers marks the fifth time for GameDay to visit College Station. The planning behind the event involves coordination from departments across campus.
Don Crawford, grounds regional manager, said the grounds department is responsible for making sure the university looks aesthetically pleasing while also working with other departments to ensure the event runs smoothly.
“We always try to have campus looking good for fans and tailgaters and community, but we want to make sure things shine when GameDay comes,” Crawford said. “We find out where they will be shooting b roll, so we can provide the university and the show with favorable images of Aggieland.”
The athletics department also aims to aid Gameday in setting up their set for production. The last day Gameday came to campus was in 2012 when the Aggies played against Florida.
“Last week we knew the possibility that Gameday would come here, so we started contacting people and departments to give them a heads up,” said Jason Cook, associate athletic director for external affairs. “We wanted to offer a really good view of the stadium because we are so proud of it now that the renovations are done and another reason is that it will be in the middle of the tailgate scene.”
Cook also said the biggest challenge for GameDay is getting more students to come at 8 a.m. after midnight yell practice.
“In order to get the word out, we have a social media push by emailing sports pass holders, working with The Association of Former Students and Coach Sumlin and Rudy’s will be doing breakfast tacos when the show is airing,” Cook said. “Our core value of selfless service truly comes to light when all the students and departments on campus work together to make this happen.”
The University Police Department also has increased presence to accommodate for the influx of people with the goal of still keeping spectators safe.
“Kyle Field can be likened to the fourth largest downtown in Texas on game day,” Assistant Chief of Police Robert Meyer said. “We generally have the basic plan in place at the beginning of the season, and then we make adjustments to the plan each week as things like Gameday or new intelligence information come up.”
With such a short notice on when and if GameDay is coming to campus, the grounds crew must always have a plan. Crawford said that although this can be stressful it makes the campus an even more exciting environment to be around.
“The Aggie fans that show up here for football games are generally the nicest people I’ve ever met,” Crawford said. “I can’t imagine other universities having as little problems with crowd control and getting ready for game days as we do. It makes game days here on campus so much fun to be around.”
Speaking at a College GameDay media event, sports analyst David Pollack said A&M’s traditions are what make it so fun to visit.
“It’s a lot of cool traditions,” Pollack said. “We go across the country and see a lot of cool things, and I think that is one of the coolest things we see.”
Sports analyst Rece Davis said coming to College Station was not on the top of ESPN’s list in July but enjoys the atmosphere of Aggieland.
“I think just the fact that everyone feels a part of something bigger than themselves is kind of cool,” Davis said. “It creates a great atmosphere for us.”

 

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