I think it’s important to point out that I’m titling this post “The Love for Sport” instead of using the phrase, “of Sport”.
Let’s come back to that idea later.
There is something to be said about the subject of sport because I certainly have my interests and am not relatively shy to admit it.
Futbol (soccer), hockey, and baseball are among the top of the list, but I also appreciate rugby, Australian football, a good tennis match, nearly any sport featured in the Olympics, and the occasional gridiron football game but get more engagement from the Canadian version than the American flavor these days.
But I literally grew up in the hills off in the distance that you see in the background of the baseball field that Kevin Costner’s character built in Field of Dreams, so you can bet I grew up playing baseball.
The radio day job always gets me into places around Vancouver that I would probably not wander through if it weren’t for the opportunities that keep coming up, and Empire Field is no exception.
TEAM Radio is the official broadcaster of the BC Lions, so during our initial test setup for the first home game back in June, I brought my camera along to hopefully snap some photos of the field before the public got to wander in for a peek. What I didn’t anticipate was that while the first event to be held at this temporary stadium was just days away, workers were all over the place, still getting ready.
While BC Place[wiki] gets a new roof downtown, Empire Field[wiki] has been built on the former site of Empire Stadium[wiki], which used to be the home of the BC Lions Canadian Football League team prior to moving into the dome in the early 80’s.
The crazy aspect to this stadium is that it’s completely temporary, but I find that hard to tell at times.
Aside from the field turf and the four sets of lights at each corner of the stadium, all of this will be gone by the summer of 2011. The BC Lions get one full season to call this place temporarily home, and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC will start their inaugural MLS season on the same field.
In all actuality, I’m not an overly huge football fan. I like to watch it, but I don’t actively seek it out. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the sport by any means. I’ve certainly let the CFL grow on me, even though punting the ball on 3rd down continues to throw me off from time to time.
What can I say? I grew up in small town America where Friday nights belong to high school football, Saturday’s are for college ball(Go Hawks!), and Sunday was NFL. Four downs(CFL has three), the flags are yellow(CFL flags are orange), and the only time you can score a single point is kicking the ball through the uprights after a touchdown(I’m still confused by all the various ways you can score a single point in the CFL, but oh well).
It’s really tough to comprehend that this stadium will only exist for barely over a year. With the mountains as a gorgeous backdrop and the close proximity of the fans to the field, this isn’t just a great place to watch football or soccer. I could see this being a great outdoor concert venue as well.
Whatever happens to this place in the future, it’s a little rewarding to be involved in a tiny piece of Vancouver’s history. Just like people talk about Expo ’86 or when the Olympics were here, I can say I was there, running around the field, ducking into the double-wide trailers that make up the locker rooms, and hauled plenty of equipment up and down stairs to make the radio side of things happen.
Interestingly enough, my photos have made the rounds on a handful of sites promoting the environmental sustainability aspect of the stadium, most noticeably the recycled tires that makes up the field turf.
Inhabitat used my photos to highlight the use of “22,000 recycled tires, amounting to 346,000 pounds of crumb rubber,” in the field turf that makes up the playing surface of Empire Field. While that’s pretty cool in itself, the playing field can actually be altered in terms of response by either vacuuming up those tiny bits of rubber or adding more to change the amount of bounce you get from the field.
They found my photos on Flickr and published them in a post with proper attribution. That’s social networking done right.
I was contacted directly about using my photos in this post, and that request was in English. As you can tell by the title of this post, all of this site is in Italian. Ecopnues is an Italian website that focuses on the use of recycled tires, taking a cue from the previous post I’ve already highlighted.
What fascinates me is the theme of sustainability being immensely popular around the world. Empire Field certainly has its critics, but in the bigger picture, the long term benefits to the communities around this area is viewed positively by many.
Empire Field is a limited time experience and well worth it. If you go and are the adventurous type, get some seats in the end zones. Space was so limited in the construction of this stadium that they couldn’t put nets up to prevent balls from going into the stands.
How’s that for a souvenir? Well, that is if you’re willing to work for it.
I was contacted a couple of weeks ago by a representative of the David Suzuki Foundation about using a photo that I had taken in one of their promotional videos. As it turns out, Devon from the DSF was actually a former intern at the radio stations where I currently work, so it was nice to make a connection with someone who has progressed in their career and on to a great opportunity to work for an organization that I have a lot of respect for.
The photo itself was from the 2008 Canucks Superskills competition at GM Place. I shot it with my Canon S5 IS, and it’s one of my more favorite shots of Willie as he was just skating around in circles during a brief moment of downtime. Anyone who goes to see enough Canucks games knows that he’s a constant mover on the ice when nothing else seems to be going on.
The video was put together to spotlight an ongoing effort on the B.C. coast by the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR) to help preserve the fresh salmon from the effects of sea lice that comes from the salmon farms in the same areas.
You can see more Cause An Effect videos on the DSF website. Many thanks for to their organization for asking me to use the photo in their video.
We stopped by Nat Bailey Stadium the other night to check out some promotional stuff that the Vancouver Canadians are getting ready in anticipation of their upcoming season. Along with their new scoreboard, the smell of fresh paint was everywhere while I had some freedom to take a few shots around the grandstand.
Baseball is summer. Looking forward to sitting in those seats a few times in the coming months.
Aside from hockey and baseball, futbol, or soccer as many like to call it, has to be the next sport in the world that always peaks my interest. And the World Cup in South Africa this year is completely worth getting excited for, much like this Nike ad has done for me. It’s quite possibly one of the best ads that most of North America will yawn at, so you should check it out.
If you’re not a soccer fan and this gets you curious about the sport at all, this summer is the time to check it out. Countries of the world with their best players going head to head in athletic competition? It doesn’t get much better than that.
I wandered down to the cauldron after work the other day to snap some pictures of the flame while it burns for the remainder of the 2010 Paralympics. I’m ashamed at my lack of coverage of this portion of the games, but there is simply not enough time to get out to everything that I’d like to with the day job taking up much of my weekdays.
True North Media House, on the other hand, has been going strong this entire time. There has been a great representation of social media generated content during the Paralympics, probably giving more timely and accesible coverage to these events than what the official broadcast rights holders are producing.
At least what I know is that if I want to know how the sledge hockey games are going, all I have to do is tune into Twitter for score updates. Shortly after that, you can expect to see photos on Flickr with the tnmh tag.
That being said, seeing the flame burning in the light of the setting sun, I thought I’d go back through all of my own pictures and highlight some of my favorite shots. Continue reading “Vancouver 2010: Rewind”
It already seems like the last day of the Olympics were months ago, and it barely seems like the greatest hockey game that I have ever seen yet alone been in such close proximity to. This was probably one of the single, biggest days in this country’s history, and I was in the midst of it all.
And truth be told, I took the photo of this sign the day before this day. It really should have been a sign of what was about to come.
Many people probably know about how the USA had a hockey game with Canada for the gold medal. If not, read this.
What many people in the U.S. probably don’t understand is that this game isn’t a matter of bragging rights. While that can and most likely will happen, it goes beyond that. This game was the cherry on top of the Canadian pride that has come out of hiding and been embraced like I’ve never seen before.
If you’ve noticed a media badge hanging around my neck in various photos during the games, the BC International Media Centre is what one of those things allows me access to. This is where the non-accredited media hang out because we can’t get the officially recognized Olympics accreditation that is controlled by VANOC.
As lacking as that might sound in terms of media access, the BCIMC was a remarkable place to work out of. Aside from the responsibilities I’ve had with the radio stations, I’m also able to plug in my laptop, process photos, and upload a lot of content on their wickedly fast internet pipe.