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Robe BMFLs for NCAA March Madness
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) “March Madness” tournament is a single-elimination college basketball tournament played each spring with 68 teams competing for the national championship. It has been lit - seven courts across six venues in total - for the last three years (preceding 2020 which was canceled due to COVID-19) by Bill Brennan.
The 2021 Final Four was staged at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Brennan specified 60 x Robe BMFLs - a combination of BMFL Spots and BMFL Blades - for the supplemental rig this year, which were supplied, together with other lights, by Nashville-based Pulse Lighting, whose Paul Hoffman was also the event’s lead lighting programmer.
Brennan’s main consideration for lighting the Lucas Oil Stadium was to successfully transform it from a football venue to a basketball court, as well as to satisfy the needs of multiple media organizations. The biggest challenges were balancing the backgrounds and properly managing the daylight spill from the venue, which has a retractable roof and a large retractable window at one end, allowing play both indoors and outdoors.
The BMFL Spots were positioned around the field of play and the pitch perimeter and along the team benches, to add ambient ‘fallout’ light for the matches, and for a performance by Miley Cyrus staged during the men’s Final Four section, where she entertained an audience of socially-distanced frontline workers. Lighting was programmed by Paul Hoffman using a GrandMA2.
Hoffman was one of seven lighting crew working on the NCAA event. Joining him at the Lucas Oil Stadium were crew chief Andrew Smith plus Dan Grabus and Ryan Chesney. Pulse also supplied equipment for another venue, the Indiana Farmer’s Coliseum, which was crew chiefed by Alex “Herm” Schneider who was also the programmer/operator, working alongside Joel Surbe and Shane Beasley.
(Photos: Bill Brennan/Paul Hoffman)
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