In the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, the parking lots and grassy areas outside of the stadium undergo an amazing transformation. Where once there was only asphalt and the echoes of tailgating past, a small city springs up. Neat rows of broadcast trucks and edit trailers, production offices and equipment tents, catering areas and portable restrooms all encircle the stadium, to be traversed by a fleet of golf carts following concourses of orange construction fencing. This is the home away from home for the NFL Films employees who transplant themselves from New Jersey to the Super Bowl each year to cover the NFL’s biggest event. This is the NFL Broadcast Compound.
It is a small marvel of urban planning, transient like an Army Corps of Engineers camp and functional like the Utilidors under Walt Disney World. Sometimes cold and icy, sometimes wet and muddy, it’s not glamorous, but in the shadow of the Super Bowl stadium, it never fails to capture the energy of the impending game. Co-workers who see each other in the office every day back home reunite in the compound, shaking hands and hugging like long lost friends. A camaraderie emerges in the bustle of work getting done, as people pull together to deal with uncooperative weather or a power outage. And when the big game is over, the bond remains among a group of people who experienced an extraordinary event together.
Golf carts are the transportation a la mode in the Broadcast Compound, so what better introduction to NFL Films on location could there be than a golf cart tour? Fasten your seat belt, keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times, and enjoy this behind the scenes glimpse of the NFL Broadcast Compound at Super Bowl XLVI.