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ESPN NHL Production Coordinator Camille Bova Does it All for the 2023 NHL Stadium Series in Raleigh, N.C.

As ESPN and the NHL reach the midway point of its second season together, Camille Bova and the ESPN NHL Production team head into the 2023 NHL Stadium Series at Finley-Carter Stadium, home to the North Carolina State Wolfpack football team in Raleigh, N.C.

Bova is heading into her sixth year with ESPN, first starting at the assignment desk and later moving to production, making a significant impact ever since. While Bova works tirelessly behind the scenes to help ensure one of the NHL’s most exciting events runs smoothly, her role includes much more than meets the eye – such as set-design, talent organization and infusing fun and creative elements to make for a memorable event.

You’ve been described by some of your colleagues as the backbone of organization for the NHL Production team as well as the glue between your group and the Operations team. How important is it for the two groups to be aligned for an event like Stadium Series, ESPN’s first outdoor game?

A lot of our success at big events is due to our relationship with our Operations team. Our big events have so many moving parts and being able to lean on and work with our Operations crew makes our jobs even easier. It’s a team effort and the rest of my production management team, Andrea Fonseca and Rebecca Preston, are always there to help.

What are you most looking forward to this Saturday?

This our first outdoor hockey game and I can’t wait to see it all come together. Our sets and the rink are still being built, but we’re watching them make progress every day. On Saturday we’ll get to see the energy of a sold-out college football stadium be paired with the fast-paced game of hockey. I can’t think of a better combination!

Bova at Finley-Carter Stadium in advance of NHL Stadium Series in Raleigh (credit: Camille Bova)

Coming off of the All-Star Game, what are some of the more unique and interesting challenges preparing for such a different type of hockey production?

Mascot Party at NHL All-Star Weekend (credit: Scott Clarke)

Our All-Star weekend this year was in Sunrise, Fla.  As we started to plan out our sets, the words ‘flamingo, tiki hut and palm trees’ were mentioned. We worked with a local plant nursery to rent dozens of plants and palm trees to decorate our set. We also had several pools, underwater camera shots and a mascot party on our studio terrace. It was great having an event in an area that you can really lean into the natural look of our surroundings.

Mascot Party at NHL All-Star Weekend (credit: Scott Clarke)

You seem to always be involved with a food element for our NHL productions, we had a tiki bar at All-Star Week, is there anything special planned for Stadium Series?

The original chicken parmesan story happened long before I was at ESPN, but I’ve been happy to keep the joke going and help it evolve. We didn’t have any food on site for All-Star, but our studio guys did have a personal bartender who made ‘Tiki-drinks’ throughout all of our pre-game shows. One of the unique things about producing a hockey game on N.C. State’s football stadium is you know there will be no shortage of food at the tailgate scene!

What are some of the challenges and opportunities to hosting a game outside, at a college football stadium for 60,000 people?

Being in a football stadium is a whole new atmosphere for us. We’ve added Marty Smith to our sideline team to help connect our hockey coverage to the college football atmosphere. We’ll have NC State’s ‘Wolf’ mascot, a student section, a pregame tailgate and lastly no roof. The main challenge is too much sun beating down on our ice rink, but you’ll have to tune in Saturday night to see how it all plays out!

Do you have a relationship with hockey outside of your role at ESPN? If so, who is your favorite team and player?

Yes, I’m a big hockey fan. I went to school at Quinnipiac and was lucky to have an amazing hockey team to root for each year. Now you can find me at a Devils game when I’m not working!

The Washington Capitals will face the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, Feb. 18, with a unique opportunity to play outdoors at a college football stadium, housing 60,000 people. The event will air on ABC and ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET.

For more on ESPN’s NHL coverage, visit ESPN PressRoom.


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