2021 ended with a bang for Media Stage! Our crew worked three separate events for the Capital One Orange Bowl between the University of Michigan and the University of Georgia from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. First on the schedule were the Coaches Luncheon and Michigan Alumni Association Pep Rally the day before the game, followed by a tailgate party in the stadium prior to kick-off day of.
Working directly for the Orange Bowl Committee, our team was onsite at Jungle Island for the Coaches Luncheon to build a custom set behind the interview tables. Chris Fowler, Desmond Howard and David Pollack of ESPN hosted the luncheon featuring Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh and Georgia head coach Kirby Smart.
We used scenic Atomic panels behind their set with up-lighting for ambience, complemented by a full mic package and surround-style audio, stage wash, and a goalpost behind the set with additional fixtures for backlighting.
The Michigan Alumni Association Pep Rally happened the same day in the evening at Charles F. Dodge City Center in Pembroke Pines. This event was outdoors so we pulled from a generator to power all of our gear. We built lighting trees to hit the stage on which the hosts, band and cheerleaders would perform. We also provided a pop-up LED wall on a trailer to the side of the stage with full audio that was fit for the outdoors so the energetic crowd of more than 2,500 fans could hear clearly.
And then it was GAME DAY! Again, enlisted by the Alumni Association, we loaded into Hard Rock Stadium at 9am on the day of the big game to set up a tailgate party in the 300s level. We built and lit a stage and supplied wireless mics with speakers, cameras for IMAG, four 80” LED monitors and some projection effects for the school’s logo onto the stadium walls.
There are always some unique challenges when working in stadiums, the foremost being freight elevator access and load-in schedule on a busy game day. It was also a long push for our crew and we had to work out more complicated load-out/storage logistics. We were able strike our gear and pack it up once the game kicked off and from that point, we tarped it off for our truck to return two days later to pick it up.
Thank you to the Orange Bowl Committee and the University of Michigan Alumni Association for this opportunity. Congratulations on a wonderful season!