Behind the Lions
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It is no secret that Penn State football games bring in a huge amount of tourism to State College. With that an economic push. With such a big event there's a large effort that goes into putting on these games. I did some digging into the invisible labor of Penn State football. To see what goes on behind the Lions. When it comes to football season and normally means the Lions turn it up here in Beaver Stadium. We wanted to show you what it takes to make this into this. Preparation for football season begins as early as July and August with all hands on deck. Once the season officially starts the cycle begins for thousands of workers. "It is a fresh week. Every week we come in it is a rinse and repeat." Terry and his team of office and physical plant workers handle almost everything to do with setting up the stadium lots, and making it inside of the stadium. The first shift starts before the sun comes up at 5 am. 2 Hours before the lots open up, they set up barricades and light towers. There next task, the things not many things people would think of. "We are mowing and filling the groundhog holes. It's amazing how many groundhog holes you can get out here in these farm fields. People find them when they are walking. We have had people trip on them. We go out and try to find those. We usually run into a lot of bees nest in the field. So we take care of any bees nests or yellow jackets out there" crews also fixed the gravel roads. Put barriers up for the lots as well as traffic signs. It is a busy day for some shifts lasting 17 to 18 hours long. Moving inside, the list of duties just as rigorous as the outside work. This year fans get a big benefit, but an added responsibility for opp crews. That is checking the electricity for these. " We installed 100 new Tv's around the stadium. We've never had Tv's in all parts of the stadium before." The biggest monitor, this one. It runs everything from teen clips to replays, all put on by these guys. "Anything that is happening on the game or on the video boards is usually coming through our booth." The next team giving fans the Penn State experiences Dana and P.J. Dana is the director of the media board. "We have a bunch of stuff we have to get in at every single game." P.J. controls all the sounds that you here to keep the energy up for fans and players. "Everything that you here, whether it is the play a microphone or the on-field stuff that we do is all run through here. Even the music and the videos and the different boards around the stadium will run there. The band is microphone and up as well." Of course one sound immediately think of ( lion roar ) every Tuesday the team meets to hold a production meeting. "I think our fans know this. We have a nice run down pre game. Everything gets time down to the second." Everything is timed out to the second. Just a few floors above the video board room is the media room. This is where the reporters and the writers are. "There are 200 seats up here on this level. On the fourth floor is where the network tv announcers are located.down will be Steve Jones and Jack Ham and the Penn State Sports Network visiting radio" we head to another fan favorite, the concession stands. "The timing and the weather are how we stock the concession stands. The weather is the most important. That helps us to determine if we have 100,000 water bottles on hand for a hot game. Or maybe 40 thousand mugs for hot chocolate for a cold game" the stands are worked by volunteer groups. "Last year be redistributed almost half $1 million worth of commissions back into the community." After a full week of preparations, game week is here before you know it. "Penn state game is great. The fans are nuts. They love it." One of the biggest factors for what sets apart a Penn State game from other football games. These fans are responsible for the massive amount of debris left behind. For that the crew that is not afraid to get their hands dirty, quite literally. "On Sunday morning crews come by and they grab clear bags. Those go to the trash. The blue bags pick up all the cans. We have employees who dump the contents. The belt goes up to be sorted by 8 to 10 workers. Hand sorted." Yes, hand sorted. "We get about 20 tons of recycling, and average per game. Maybe between 50 to 70 tons of trash per game." That takes a full circle for the preparations done to put on one of the biggest sporting events in the state. From here there is only one thing left top say " WE ARE !!! " as for the rest of the season there are still three Penn State football games left.