Unchartered waters

Cal Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities Management Mike Huff has been going through what a lot of administrators in similar roles around the Pac-12 have been doing lately -- trying to figure out how to put on a televised game at a venue that isn't used to putting on televised games.

When the Pac-12 Networks airs its second-ever live event Friday at 5 p.m. PT, it will originate from Cal's Maxwell Field, a place where network television has never set up shop before. There will be firsts like this all over the conference this year, and there is a combination of excitement and holding-your-breath.

"I'll let you know how it goes about 10 p.m. (Friday)," Huff said.

The game, which has Cal's field hockey team hosting Maryland, is believed to be the first event ever televised at Maxwell Field. The first step was figuring out where to station the networks' 35-foot production/satellite truck. Then university officials had to work with the networks to find optimal spots for cameras, which require to be placed on scissor lifts 30-50 feet in the air.

Maxwell Field is next to Memorial Stadium, which although will re-open next weekend for football after a massive renovation project, is still the site of some exterior construction. That made it challenging to find a place for the production truck.

Then Cal officials remembered large trucks access the field during every home football game as part of a "Fun Zone," so they can simply bring the production truck onto the field as well.

"That was the hardest part, and the answer was right there in front of us," Huff said.

Although preparing for the broadcast had its challenges, Huff said there has been nothing but excitement leading up to Friday's game.

"There's great excitement for field hockey and the sports that don't get a lot of coverage," Huff said. "I'm just elated and so happy for the coaches and athletes."

 

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