Behind-the-scenes look at College GameDay set up in Blacksburg

By  | 

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) ESPN is taking over Blacksburg.

The College GameDay crew started early Thursday morning setting up lights and cameras as the world of college football prepares for a big match up this Saturday between the Virginia Tech Hokies and Clemson University Tigers.

The network gave WDBJ7 an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the set and what it takes to get ready for the Battle in Blacksburg.

It takes a village of dedicated workers to build a set good enough for ESPN, and they only have about 24 hours to do it.

"It takes a full day. By the end of Thursday everything is ready and we're ready to do our first TV on Friday morning," said Luther Fisher, the College GameDay Remote Operations Specialist.

An army of production workers started Wednesday night unloading seven tractor trailers full of cables, stages, and gear.

It all quickly filled up Alumni Mall - a location the network picked for its broadcast.

"I drove up here Monday to do what we call site survey. And we check out the area and see how we can put this all together," Fisher said.

The crew is no stranger to getting set up in a hurry. The team travels the nation doing this same thing every week during college football season. Every box is loaded with important gear, and everything inside has a specific place. And during all this hustle, they know exactly where everything goes.

"We do all of them together. Everybody is on every show and we're one big happy family most of the time. It has to be the same people because we couldn't pick up people everywhere we go to make this happen," Fisher said.

Before all it makes it to TV, a control room has to be unfolded. Another crew expanded a production truck to create a temporary home for
the production staff to help bring this big broadcast to your living room.

The team has to be ready to go where ever they're called. They find out where they're going next usually on Saturday nights. Sometimes that means traveling to a neighboring state or across the country.