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Atlanta Falcons Ring in New Era of Digital Content With Ticketmaster Studios


Atlanta Falcons Ring in New Era of Digital Content With Ticketmaster Studios Main goals for the dedicated space are live productions, access to players By Kristian Hern ndez, Senior Editor

Wednesday, January 25, 2023 - 10:30 am

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After years without a permanent facility for producing digital and creative content, the Atlanta Falcons have opened the doors to the state-of-the-art Ticketmaster Studios. A separate addition to the team's training facility in Flowery Branch, GA, the new studio will be used to create and develop engaging digital content for daily consumption and tentpole events alike.

In a sport where players wear helmets, it's a little bit difficult to get to know them as a person, says Scott Kegley, VP, digital strategy, AMB Sports + Entertainment (AMBSE), which owns the Falcons. We want to be able to bring [our fans] closer to the players and tell their stories in a manner that is unique to us and our brand.

The Atlanta Falcons' new Ticketmaster Studios was built adjacent to the team's training facility in Flowery Branch, GA.

Two Priorities for Video Production: A Permanent Home, Expanded Content In previous seasons, the Atlanta Falcons' video-production team adopted an ad hoc approach to capturing and delivering content. Without a brick-and-mortar home, projects were restricted to postproduction, and staffers had to work in a more mobile setting. Finding the crew its own space and expanding content strategy to include live, real-time production were two major priorities when the project was begun four years ago.

My group became known for pushing around carts everywhere because we had no dedicated space, says Austin Hittel, director, video production and broadcast, Atlanta Falcons. If we were doing an NFL Draft show, we were pulling a TriCaster into the indoor facility and creating makeshift. From an operations standpoint, my team spent a lot more time building and breaking down, which for us wasn't good because we were creating less content.

Cutting the ribbon on Ticketmaster Studios: (from left) AMBSE Chief Revenue Officer Tim Zulawski; AMBSE/Atlanta Falcons CEO Rich McKay; AMBSE Vice Chairman Steve Cannon; Falcons Owner Arthur Blank; Ticketmaster EVP/Co-Head, Sports, Clay Luter; and Atlanta Falcons President Greg Beadles

Along with establishing a facility for the production team, the main goal for the project was to have an area that was easily accessible to the players, who don't generally have much time between practice and other meetings. To make the most of their time, the organization knew exactly where to place its new production center: attached to the training facility's main building and right next to the locker room and players' cafeteria.

We wanted to make it convenient because our players' time is valuable, adds Hittel.

Planning Work: Alpha Video Handles Systems-Integration Needs Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic put the plans on hold throughout 2020, but the Falcons revitalized the project in early 2021. The first order of business was to lock in the necessary partners, who would help them complete the job with the highest quality.

The main production-control room at Ticketmaster Studios

For systems integration in the brand-new control room, Hittel and company tapped Alpha Video, which has played a vital role in other impressive builds over the past five years, including the Las Vegas Raiders' studio. The Falcons discussed expanding their 50-acre training facility to accommodate the studio, and, once that idea was put in motion, Alpha Video deployed an onsite team to Georgia to evaluate the situation.

This was a collaborative effort between the Falcons, Alpha Video, their architect, and their general contractor, says Jeff Volk, VP, sports and entertainment, Alpha Video. There were no designs, so we spent a good three to four months at the end of 2021 to refine that. When the project was green-lit, construction started, and we finalized the list of equipment and materials to support the architectural spaces.

Volk notes a few obstacles that had to be navigated in completing the job. During the conceptualization stage, for example, the Alpha Video team needed to mesh the ideas of both veteran employees and new staffers on the Falcons.

Creative Dimensions supplied the anchor desk and scenic elements in the main studio set.

Whenever you start on a brand-new construction project, there will be people that were part of the project from the beginning and new people that come in, he says. The biggest challenge is translating various visions into one cohesive set of ideas and having that come out on the other end as the finished product.

In addition, Alpha Video needed to meet the overall goal of the Falcons' new studio while leaving enough flexibility in case production priorities changed.

The nuance is [knowing] what teams are doing from a content perspective and how we can build something that supports that content strategy, Volk explains. The trick is developing a space that's flexible should their vision go in a different direction or their content isn't adaptable to what's popular with their fans and they need to pivot.

The Falcons' photography team has its own dedicated studio.

Also, given the uniqueness of the build, the Alpha Video crew was tasked with fitting all the desired hardware into the space's specific dimensions.

We had limited options to build a building big enough to accommodate a facility of this size, says Volk. We had to be pretty creative with our spacing. As a result, a lot of the back-of-house areas have unique shapes and dimensions. Given the site plan that we had to stay within, we landed on the most ideal building possible.

Tech Infrastructure: Studio, Mercedes-Benz Stadium S
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