SportsCenter

Faces of ESPN’s Digital Center 2: Part 1

SportsCenter - June 2, 2014

This coming Sunday, SportsCenter’s 11 p.m. ET edition will be the first to originate from ESPN’s brand new, 194,000 square foot Digital Center 2. The building will be home to SportsCenter, all NFL studio shows and other, yet to be determined, programming.

Over the next week, Front Row will introduce fans to a small sampling of the men and women who were behind the mammmoth undertaking as they share what the new building will mean for them and for you.

Jennifer Williams
Jennifer Williams

Jennifer Williams


Job Title: Supervisor Operations Coordination
Years at ESPN: 11

Description of your role in DC-2/SC:
My role in the launch of DC2/SC2014 was to be the lead for coordinating all rehearsals for all groups. This planning started back in January and it has been an ever changing process the entire time. I was also part of a team who coordinated 11 SC2014 info sessions for the operators in Production Operations.

How will your job change because of new studio/building?
The overall workload will change my job drastically. There are more Studios and Production Control Rooms to keep track of – a ton of moving parts. Communication will be key in making sure that everything is scheduled as accurately and efficiently as possible.

What is your favorite TISC ad?
I have two: My first one is the David Ortiz one where he puts on a Yankee hat and Wally the Green Monster sees it. The other is the Kenny Chesney/Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader one, well, because I was in it.

John Cistulli
John Cistulli

John Cistulli


Job Title: Senior Director, Global Construction & Facilities Engineering
Years at ESPN: 34

Description of your role in DC-2/SC:
My role was to manage the entire process of building the physical project including the architectural and engineering design process, the construction of the building and the commissioning of the building infrastructure systems. This project started for me back in 2008 when Facilities was asked to develop a conceptual plan for DC-2. That plan evolved over the course of almost two years until we (the primary project stakeholders) were confident we had the basic program for the building figured out. The design process culminated in early 2011 and that August we began the two-year process of constructing the building.

What is your favorite feature of DC-2/SC studio and why?:
I do not have one favorite feature of DC-2. The reason for this is there are many very sophisticated systems that we designed into the building in order to achieve the very high level of performance that needed to be met in this facility. The design team looked at every component of the building, from the type of concrete used in the foundations to the type of membrane used on the roof, and everything in between, to ensure every single component was perfectly suited for the task at hand; which was constructing the most sophisticated television production facility in the world. It’s important to know that the level of sophistication of DC-2 goes far beyond the equipment and studio sets that the Technology, Production and Creative Services groups are going to place in the building. The building itself is a wonder of architectural and engineering design.

What do you see as the biggest impact on viewers:
The SportsCenter set without question is the most amazing piece of technical production wizardry I have seen in my nearly 35 years with ESPN. I have seen it in artistic renderings and up close and personal during installation. I can’t wait to see it go live on-air.

By Dan Quinn

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