It’s a busy time of year for sports, and a busy week ahead for SportsCenter on the Road.
The program will have four shows from three sites, separated by multiple states, over a five-day period.
“In terms of the amount of distance between the locations, and the amount of manpower needed, it’s definitely a challenge,” said Michael Fountain, senior coordinating producer.
The shows begin Saturday at the University of South Carolina where anchors Matt Barrie and Sara Walsh, joined by reporter Marty Smith, will head a two-hour telecast beginning at 7 a.m. ET leading into ESPN College GameDay at 9 a.m. The Homecoming game between South Carolina and Vanderbilt will air on the SEC Network at 4 p.m.
“We’re doing the show at South Carolina not to focus on that game but to salute the resilience of the people in that region and their capacity to overcome what has already been a tragic year, made even more challenging by the recent flooding,” said Fountain.
During the show, reporters will check in from five other key college football games of the day, with Randy Scott reporting from LSU, Zubin Mehenti at Michigan (with the GameDay crew), Shelley Smith at Notre Dame, Kaylee Hartung and the SEC Nation team at Texas A&M and Trevor Matich at Ohio State,
As soon as possible after the show ends at 9 a.m., the on-site crew will pack equipment into the SportsCenter on the Road bus with the goal of an 11 a.m. departure. Twelve hours later, the bus will pull into Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field and start setting up for the second show of the weekend.
Hannah Storm will anchor a two-hour show from outside the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers from 8-10 a.m., leading into Sunday NFL Countdown. SportsCenter anchor Cari Champion will join Storm on the program with live reports capturing the atmosphere with fans around Heinz Field and anchor Lindsay Czarniak will be reporting from inside the stadium.
The bus will then depart Pittsburgh for a 10-hour trip to Chicago, where the crew will set up for two days of 6 p.m. SportsCenter programs from outside of Wrigley Field, the site of the third and fourth games of the National League Championship Series. Czarniak will anchor the two shows, joined by reporter Sarah Spain.
“It will be a challenging few days for the SportsCenter on the Road crew,” Fountain said. “But it will help drive home the point that if there is a major event, SportsCenter will be there.”