Live from Plant Park: CNN Sports to Broadcast on Campus

UT will be one of the many faces of the Super Bowl, as CNN Sports broadcasts live from Plant Park next week.

Eric Cardenas, UT director of public information said this event will be great publicity for the university.

‘We’re excited. We are pleased when we can help the media cover an event,’ he said.
CNN Sports is scheduled to set-up on Jan. 26 and broadcast from the 27th through the 31st between 6 a.m. and midnight.’

The search for a broadcast site started last summer.’ Cardenas was approached in June and by October, CNN finalized its site with UT.

David Wilke, coordinating producer for CNN Sports said during his trip in July, he was looking for a site with a backdrop of the city.’

‘I looked at the downtown skyline, but it didn’t scream out enough ‘this is Tampa,” he said.

With two visits from John McCain and a broadcast of the Today Show in 2008, UT has become a hotspot for the national media.

‘We are approachable to the media and the attention on campus adds to the dynamic nature to the campus,’ Cardenas said.

Since the broadcast will be held in Plant Park, Cardenas said there should be minimal disruptions for students.

While in Tampa, Wilke remembered seeing UT before.

‘I thought the location was great with the iconic building and the local plant life,’ he said.

Not only was the scenery a large factor in CNN’s decision to camp-out at UT, but the accessibility factor helped.’

‘I like the location, it’s easy to get in and out of,’ Wilke said.

Wilke said he looks forward to eating at Tampa’s local restaurants and seeing students.’

‘I look forward to seeing you guys,’ he said.

Unlike past productions on campus, Cardenas said this broadcast is low-key and CNN is not hiring any student interns.

‘This is going to be different from the Today Show because they’re not necessarily inviting an audience,’ he said.

Although no students are set to work with CNN Sports, two UT students are interning with NBC for the Super Bowl coverage.’ Nichole Ciotti and Amy Bohrer will be interning for a week at the Convention Center starting on Jan. 26.

Ciotti, a UT junior, heard about the internship from Amanda Holt, director of public relations for the Tampa Bay Super Bowl Host Committee.

After submitting her resume, Ciotti had a phone interview with NBC and was offered the position one week later.

As of Jan. 30, Ciotti did not know what responsibilities she would have as an intern.

‘I’m most looking forward to seeing the behind-the-scenes action that goes into effect with such a large event as the Super Bowl,’ Ciotti said.

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