Kaufman Stadium Offers New Truck Compound; Cardinal Telecasts Leave Bud Productions Behind

By Ken Kerschbaumer

While all eyes are on the new Yankee Stadium and Citifield in New York City the Kansas City Royals have quietly renovated Kaufmann Stadium, giving broadcasters new camera positions and a new truck compound.

“The owners are visionary and they’re hoping to get an All-Star game,” says Fox Sports Kansas City executive producer Mark Hulsey of the new truck compound located a little further from the stadium than the previous one but with more space for trucks.

The new stadium, however, is the big star this season as the network looks to attract fans to the ballpark. “We’ll have a roving RF camera around the stadium that will showcase the amenities like a carousel behind the outfield or kids playing putt-putt golf,” says Hulsey. “We’ll also hold our pre- and post-game coverage in Rivals restaurant in the right field corner and hope to have a large crowd.”

With respect to camera positions Hulsey says the high-home camera position has been lowered, offering more intimate angles, and there are also new camera positions in the corners of the outfield. “We’re happy with all the new camera positions,” says Hulsey.

Fox Sports Kansas City will also plug in a handheld camera and walk through the stadium concourse. “There are new outfield seats near the fountains and on hot summer days we want to show the fans getting wet,” says Hulsey. “We’re going to be aggressive in getting our announcers out of the booth.”

Hulsey also is executive producer for the St. Louis Cardinals, and both the Royals and Cardinals are expected to offer viewers more than 100 HD games each. Inertia Unlimited’s xMo super slo-motion system will also play an important part in both team’s broadcasts and Fox Sports Midwest managed to land an xMo sponsor.

“In these current economic times anytime you can find a sponsor to pay for technological advancement it helps,” says Hulsey. “It enhances every baseball telecast and is used for numerous plays during Cardinals games.”

The biggest change for Cardinals telecasts is that Bud Productions will not produce the games because the Budweiser-owned production unit was shut down in the offseason. “We’ll now be similar to other Fox regional sports networks and we’ll control the producer and director,” says Hulsey.

Mobile TV Groups 11HDX unit will play a key role for both networks. “Our goal is to use the same mobile unit for the majority of Cardinal games and, if the schedule allows, Royals home games as well,” says Husley. “The Mobile TV Group trucks have been more than capable and we were very happy working with them last year.”

Opening
Day is less than a month away, and SVG is counting down to the first pitch with
a look at the regional sports networks responsible for producing games for all
30 Major League Baseball teams. SVG is stopping in with each RSN to detailing
the news and expectations leading up to the 2009 baseball season one conference
at a time. For the complete SVG 30 In 30 Index, click here.