Dignitaries attend high fiber opening of SportsCenter’s new home

ESPN executives and employees were joined by state and local legislators this morning for the ceremonial opening of the company’s Digital Center 2, a state-of-the-art media facility on the Bristol, Conn. campus. The ceremonial “fiber” cutting – a nod to the 6 million feet of fiber optic cable within the 194,000-square -foot building – included comments from ESPN President John Skipper, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Congressman John Larson (D-CT).

While the gathering was a showcase of one of the most technologically advanced media facilities in the world, it was also a demonstration of ESPN’s commitment to keep its talented employees in house. The event kicked off with the announcement of a long term extension for SportsCenter anchor Sara Walsh, who served as the emcee for the morning ceremony held in DC-2’s expansive lobby.

Governor Malloy, who took a moment to note he’d be a good candidate for a job at ESPN if his own contract isn’t renewed, said: “ESPN is a leading employer in our state, and the company’s willingness to continue to expand and hire here demonstrates that Connecticut really is a great place to grow and invest. ESPN’s new digital center will create hundreds of new jobs for residents and reinforces the company and our state’s well-earned reputation as a hub for sports digital media and broadcasting.”

The event included an opportunity for invited guests to be amongst the first people to explore the 10,000-square-foot SportsCenter studio that will be the new home of ESPN’s flagship program beginning next month. The unique environment of the studio features a video floor, virtual technology, a set that rises from the floor, 114 monitors including a 56 LED multi-dimensional monitor wall, 800 energy efficient lighting fixtures and an above-the-studio camera mounted on a circular track for more than 30 feet of distinctive shooting options.

DC-2 will also be home to all of ESPN’s NFL studio programming, beginning in late summer. ESPN’s Los Angeles production center is also undergoing a similar re-design of its SportsCenter studio that will launch simultaneously with the Bristol set.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In the video below, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy and ESPN President John Skipper host a mock SportsCenter segment from ESPN’s new Digital Center 2 (DC-2).

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