By KAITLYN NAPLES
After a little over two years of construction ESPN held the official grand opening of its new digital center last Monday morning. The new state-of-the-art facility, dubbed DC-2, will be the home of “SportsCenter,” starting in June, as well as NFL programming this fall. It also is a step into the future for ESPN and digital media.
“This is the future of ESPN,” said Sara Walsh, SportsCenter anchor.
The 194,000 square foot building has five studios, six control rooms, and 26 edit studios and the largest studio in the building is nearly 10,000 square feet— or twice the size of SportsCenter’s current studio with 100 more monitors than its current studio. Every wall in the new studio has some kind of feature and they all serve as a unique backdrop for segments and interviews. There are features in the floor, like a rising interview platform, as well as interactive monitors, LED lighting, and the new studio can accommodate 18 live hours of SportsCenter per day.
“This building illustrates ESPN’s commitment to technology (and its confidence in a technological world that is constantly changing),” said ESPN’s president John Skipper. He added that the new studio and its features will allow ESPN to “provide the best sports content on every platform.”
In addition to its advanced technology, DC-2 was built with energy efficiency in mind. The facility was built with high efficiency condensing boilers, high performance lighting, sensors, electronic dimming, and more.
ESPN’s new digital center also was chosen to be part of Governor Dannel Malloy’s First Five Program. In 2011, Malloy made a $17.5 million commitment to ESPN for the new building. The First Five program was designed to increase business development in the state with incentives and tax credit programs for the first five companies that would create 200 new jobs within two years, or invest $25 million and create 200 new jobs within five years. ESPN spent $175 million on its new facility, and the company is eligible for up to $10 million in Urban and Industrial Sites Reinvestment Tax Credits (URA).
SportsCenter viewers will notice new animation features, enhanced music and sound design, and updated informational graphics.
At last week’s ground breaking, Malloy said Connecticut is focused on providing an environment for enhances in digital media.
“It is great to see DC-2 completed,” Malloy said.
Bristol Mayor Ken Cockayne said he was glad to see the new facility open during his administration and added Bristol has a “great working relationship” with ESPN.
“We’re looking forward to the next building you put up, in Bristol,” Cockayne said, wishing ESPN “much success.
Comments? Email mchaiken@BristolObserver. com.
By KAITLYN NAPLES