Students set for 3-D game day experience

Though the Trojans will be far away, students will be able to see Taylor Mays up close and in 3-D Saturday night — but some aren’t sure that’s a good thing.

During the Ohio State vs. USC football game tomorrow, the Galen Center will be turned into a 3-D movie theater, complete with 3-D glasses.

“It’s going to look a lot like the HD graphics on normal TV,” said Anthony Bailey, vice president of emerging technologies for ESPN. “But when something is coming towards a low-lying camera, it will look like it’s right in front of you.”

USC partnered with ESPN to provide the 3-D broadcast. As it is a new technology, ESPN will use Saturday’s event to help gauge fans interest in watching sports in 3-D.

“It’s an intriguing matchup between USC vs. Ohio and it would provide a good opportunity to test during a premier game,” said Colleen Lynch, associate communications manager for ESPN.

For the event, the Galen Center will put up three screens, each 40-feet wide and almost 23-feet tall. The three screens will form a U-shape around the video board hanging in the center of the arena, Bailey said.

In addition to the 2-D broadcast from the field, seven 3-D cameras will also send feeds to the Galen Center screens.

ESPN has been researching 3-D broadcasting for the past two years, Lynch said. They are waiting to see how people respond to this broadcast before they make any long-term decisions about how 3-D technology will be used in the future.

All of the roughly 6,000 tickets for the event have been given out. Tickets were free and distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, but 1,200 were reserved for USC students, said Craig Kelley, assistant director of marketing for USC’s athletic department

While some students were excited by the broadcast, others said they weren’t convinced the 3-D showing will enhance the viewing experience.

“I think it will be good,” said Elise Welch, a junior majoring in psychology. “I have always been critical of 3-D, but I have heard there have been improvements, so I’m excited to see it.”

However, Welch said the 3-D element may make the game more difficult to understand.

Samantha Klein, a junior majoring in fine arts, said she plans to attend the screening, partly because she has never seen a 3-D event before.

“I’m curious to see what they do with it in the context of a sports game,” Klein said.

Tara Marquez, a junior majoring in philosophy, law and politics, said the large screens and action of the game might make following the play distracting.

“There might be too much going on on the screen,” Marquez said.

Matt Broaddus, a junior majoring in English who describes himself as a lifelong football fan was also a bit hesitant.

Broaddus said he does not plan to go to the 3-D broadcast. Instead, he will watch the game on normal TV.

“It’s kind of interesting,” he said. “At the same time, it’s kind of weird. I’m apprehensive about it. It’s so different that it kind of turns me off.”