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Behind the Scenes with the Preds Game Operations Crew

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators spent a recent Saturday game day with the Preds Game Operations staff. The Game Ops staff are responsible for the entire show inside the arena -- Megatron, PA Announcer, Mascots, Dancers & Liquid Ice Girls. If it goes on inside the arena, chances are they're helping to coordinate.

Photo Gallery: Behind the Scenes w ith Game Ops
Preparation for the game starts days before. Ron Zolkower, the Game Presentaion Coordinator, will write a working "script" for all games -- a minute-by-minute outline of what is going on during that night's game for pre-game, both intermissions, and all TV stoppages. Game Operations then holds a meeting a few days before the game to review the script with each department in the office to make sure nothing was left out of the script.

Despite all the preparation and work ahead of time, Game Days are still hectic times.

Saturday Game Day Schedule
1:00PM – Ron arrives at the Sommet Center. His first task is to check the PAs, make last minute changes and updates, band load-in and sound check.

2:00PM – 3:30PM – Game Night Staff and interns arrive. Their first assignments are to setup Predators Press game programs at all of the entrances, distribute any giveaway for the evening, setup props, signs, and anything used in-game for the evening.

3:30PM – 4:00PM – The Game Night Staff has a brief meeting on the game’s agenda

4:00PM – 4:30PM – Media Meal

4:30PM – 5:00PM – Ron sets the movie clips he expects to use during that night's game and creates the final parts of that night's pre-game introduction video.

5:00PM – 5:15PM – Game Ops Meeting with Game Night Staff, Dancers, Liquid Ice Girls, Paul McCann, and camera crew to discuss what will be occurring during the game and where and to answer any questions about promotions and intermission activities.

5:15PM – 5:30PM – A member of the Game Operations Crew will review the intermission activities with the security guards by the zamboni tunnel so they can be properly staffed. At the same time, Ron will discuss song options with the game night music coordinator so any special requests can be added into the system. Then Game Operations will record "NHL Preview/Rewind" into the video system so that program can be played in-game.

5:30PM – 5:45PM – Run an anthem sound check with whoever will sing at that night's game. The acoustics of the arena in a hockey set-up are often different than venues the anthem singer is used to, so we want to make sure they get a chance to get used to the sound and make sure our sound technicians have a chance to tweak any settings. Also around this time Megatron sponsor timing is delivered.

5:45PM – 6:00PM – Meet with Krazy Klye to request organ songs for the evening. At the same time the Dancers and Liquid Ice Girls have to prepare for doors opening to the arena. For most of the pre-game, the Dancers and Liquid Ice Girls will be at the entrances meeting-and-greeting fans, signing autographs, and taking pictures.

6:00PM – 9:30PM – Game Presentation. Everything is run as written out on the script, but the director and producer for the game need to think fast and react to events as they occur in the game -- calling for different video clips or songs or in-arena skits as the game plays out.

9:30PM – 10:00PM – Debrief Game Ops personnel on game and promotions

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