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Travel time, game time

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by slappy4428, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    I was asked to cover a D-I game Saturday, but since I was 150 miles away from home when I got the phone call, I couldn't. The cards got shuffled and the D-I spot ended up with another part-timer going to a different D-I school, 120 miles from town.
    The guy drove with another writer and figured they'd leave like 3 1/2 hours early for the early evening game, putting them in the stadium like an hour, hour and a half before kickoff.
    The fulltime guy said, no, he wanted to be sure they got there with plenty of time. So they packed up and left town six flippin hours before kickoff, getting to the pressbox with enough time to spare that they could have watched the directors cut of "The Abyss" with time to spare.
    Back in the day when I covered a major D-I football team, I'd usually leave early enough to be sure I was in the pressbox like 60-90 minutes before kickoff -- usually to get a parking spot, but mostly to run the press pool.
    So, boys and girls, what's normal for you? When do you try to arrive before a game and what are the reasons behind it?
  2. Rockbottom

    Rockbottom Well-Known Member

    Dude, count me among those who likes to be there 2:30 before the game. Enough time to ensure a spot in the over-loaded media parking area/areas, entry into the stadium without having to wade through the well-heeled who use the same elevators, to set up/troubleshoot computers and to eat a little something-something before toe meets leather. I might also wander down to the field to check out the finest scenery Southern football has to offer.

  3. Stupid

    Stupid Member

    I like to be in the pressbox at least an hour before kickoff. That's more than enough time to eat, set up the laptop, look at game notes and do any socializing that's inevitably going on. At least that's true of UNC and NC State games (and East Carolina, to a degree).

    Duke games, like the one I covered Saturday, only need a 30 min. advance to park, get in the stadium and grab some food. There's rarely much of a line anywhere.
  4. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Well-Known Member

    2 hours before an NFL game, 1 hour or so before a college basketball game. A lot depends on traffic.

    The I-AA team I cover, I can pull into the parking lot 15 minutes before the game and still be OK.
  5. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    I can do an hour, I can even do 2:30, depending on when kickoff is (No way, no how for the early game. Ever).
    I draw the line in the sand there.
    Was much easier when I covered Michigan and knew I could be at my parking spot in 15 minutes...
  6. Stupid

    Stupid Member

    Chapel Hill's a hellish town for game day traffic. If I leave about 2.5 hours before the game for the 75-mile trip, I'm usually in the press room an hour before game time. If I wait another 20-30 minutes, I'll be lucky to make it there by kickoff/tipoff.
  7. Norman Stansfield

    Norman Stansfield Active Member

    I cover a top-25ish college hoops team in a major conference that plays its games in a metro downtown area.

    For non-conference games, I'll get there about 1 1/2 hours beforehand. Get settled, eat, read game notes, see who's warming up and who's not, etc. Clear my head.

    Big games, rivalry games, I'll get there at least 2 hours before if not 2 1/2. Parking can be an issue, as can seating in the media room.

    I have nightmares once in a while about oversleeping and missing games.
  8. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    I usually like to get in the pressbox an hour before the game, but a lot of times I'll get on campus much earlier. We cover a SWAC school that has one road into and out of campus, so it sometimes takes an hour to go the last three miles. For that, I'll get there maybe 2 hours early so I'm not cursing and sweating in the car. Some SEC schools (like LSU and, I think, Mississippi State) also close off campus a few hours before the game, so I'll get there a couple hours early. In that case, though, I'll usually wander around campus and check out the tailgaters for a bit.
  9. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Well-Known Member

    I actually got to a college football game at Nebraska 3 1/2 hours before (it was a night game, I had never been there before) and I was glad I got there when I did. I think I got one of the last spots in the media parking area.

    A lot of my travel time depends on the arena. If there's little space in the press room (Kohl Center, Wisconsin; Assembly Halls, Bloomington and Champaign) I'll get there more than an hour and a half before the game.
  10. 2underpar

    2underpar Active Member

    D-2 game -- 30 minutes to an hour ahead (got to get the pizza before it gets cold.
    SEC: aabout 90 minutes or 2 hours ahead. Long enough to get settled in and bullshit with the other hacks and maybe knock out a few early notes.
  11. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    Depends on the venue and event. Usually the bigger the event, the earlier I go. For auto racing, I get there ridiculously early because of traffic/press parking availability.

    But generally, the later the better. I've never understood the fascination some sportswriters have with getting there hours early. I subbed on our I-AA beat at a I-A school on Saturday and the 45 minutes I was there before kickoff was more than enough prep/eat/socialize time.
  12. Norman Stansfield

    Norman Stansfield Active Member

    An hour and a half early at the Kohl Center sometimes isn't even enough.
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