Life is crazy on Super Bowl's radio row

February 1, 2012
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There’s nothing quite like radio row at the Super Bowl media center.

Here at the JW Marriott there are 108 radio stations—with all their equipment and two to five on-air personalities each—crammed into one ballroom. Each day during Super Bowl week, there are more than 200 radio shows broadcast from that one room to sports fans across the country and around the world. (For a quick tour, see video below.)



At any one time from about 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., you can hear broadcasts going out in English, Spanish, German and myriad other languages. Many of the broadcasts happen simultaneously,  and the voices of all these guys carry farther than a Tom Brady pass. It can be enough to make your ears bleed and your head spin.

“You see it all on radio row,” said Eddie White, a Pacers executive who formerly hosted an afternoon sports-talk radio show on 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis. “You can see anyone from Joe Namath to Adam Sandler in there at any one time.”

Former and current NFL players are regular visitors to radio row, as are movie and TV stars and recording artists looking to promote themselves and their shows or songs. I can't wait until the Material Girl makes the scene.

An otherwise normal level of crazy will erupt into complete pandemonium when one of the big stars come in. They move from one radio booth to the next, waxing poetic about who knows what as a gaggle of print reporters, media handlers and other hangers-on flock around the star like tuna fish crammed together in a massive oceanic bait ball.

There's a lot of free publicity and vanity on display, so naturally politicians also love radio row. The mayors and governors from this year’s host city and state, as well as the host towns for the next two Super Bowls, are sure to make the rounds.

“It’s a great place to get exposure for your community,” said Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association spokesman Chris Gahl. “Where else can you find this many media outlets in one place?”

Speaking of media outlets, Indianapolis is fast becoming the epicenter for sports journalism.

There are nearly 5,100 media members here to cover Sunday’s game pitting the New York Giants against the New England Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium. That’s a record number of credentialed media covering the Super Bowl, said NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy.

The previous record was 5,082 credentialed media members at Dallas last year. The next highest number of credentialed media is 4,786 at the 2008 Super Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.

Indianapolis' central location, as well as the inclusion of two large-market teams, have boosted the number of credentialed media at this year's Super Bowl, said reporters in the JW Marriott media center.

The greatest show on turf is coming to town on Sunday. But there is plenty of action, maybe more unpredictable antics, among the legions covering the game and those seeking the media's everlasting attention.


 

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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