Devil Rays find its a small world after all at Disney facility

By Andrew Lippe

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays are trying to build a broader fan base, so beginning Tuesday night they will play a three game series against the Texas Rangers not from their home ballpark, in Tropicana Field but at The Ballpark at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex, in Orlando, FL. This three game set, from May 15 to May 17, will mark the first time the city of Orlando will have MLB regular season games. Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex is the spring training home to the Atlanta Braves.

“We will be sending out a satellite feed from the Disney Complex,” says John Valek, coordinating producer at FSN Florida. The Devil Rays have 67 televised games in the Orlando area in this season.

The Mountain Mobile truck that usually does home games will make the trip up to Orlando. The Mountain Mobile 8HDX is equipped with 10 Thomson LDK 6000 cameras, and a dual switcher (the truck is also used on certain away games). FSN has a technical crew of 16 on hand.

“Tuesday and Thursday night’s games will be in HD,” adds Valek. Wednesday’s night’s game will be in SD. The Devil Rays produce 50 percent of their regular season games in HD.

This has not been a difficult transition for FSN as Disney has been very accommodating. “Coordinating with Disney has been different as the games are not in a major league facility,” says Valek. However the setup has been similar to doing a spring training game.