Lindenwood’s move to NCAA Division I leads to sport production upgrades


Photo by Jacob Deane

Ethan Hannaford (left) and Jed Stugart (right) on Harlen C. Hunter Stadium.

Ethan Hannaford, Reporter

Lindenwood University has seen significant upgrades to its sports broadcast productions because of its recent jump to NCAA Division I.

When Lindenwood University announced that they would be jumping to NCAA Division I in the spring of 2022, they knew that there would be necessary upgrades to be made in the sports production department.

As a result of joining the Ohio Valley Conference, Lindenwood is now required to broadcast all NCAA events on ESPN+.

ESPN+ is ESPN’s streaming service that features thousands of live sporting events and games that are not available on ESPN’s network channels. The move to using ESPN+ is a much more professional look compared to what has been used in past years to broadcast athletic events.

While the move to ESPN+ can be exciting for some, it is also one that includes lots of changes. According to the Lindenwood Athletics Department, ESPN+ requires all cameras to be high definition, have the ability to show instant replay, as well as show 60 frames per second.

“We had to work with Mane Media [Productions] to get all new cameras and have fiber run between Scheidegger Center and Hunter Stadium, “Lindenwood Athletics Event Management Coordinator Nick Tolle said. “And then [had to] reroute stuff down to replay so that replay had all the cameras that are involved in the broadcast.”

Equipment was not the only area with the upgrades. With more equipment being used, there is a need to have more hands to run that equipment.

“Having field producers and actual directors has been a great upgrade. For football, we now have the three-man booth with the sideline reporter instead of just one or two people in the press box with headsets. We’ve added a lot more people to support them,” Tolle said. “[We have] more cameras. A lot of our shoots outside of football were one camera shoots and now they’re two or more because that is what ESPN requires.”

Another addition to the quality of broadcast at Lindenwood was a brand-new scoreboard at Hunter Stadium. The Simmons Hanley Conroy scoreboard is the 2nd largest in the St. Louis region behind Busch Stadium’s scoreboard. It is 72 feet wide and just under 28 feet tall.

“There’s a lot that goes into it that not many people realize because we started from scratch,” Tolle said. “There wasn’t a single thing to put on it, so we’ve had to build every single graphic that goes on there.”

One voice in particular on the broadcasts for Lindenwood football this season is a familiar one in the St. Louis region. Bob Ramsey has been the Lions Play-by-Play broadcaster in their first season at the Division I level. Ramsey, a Lindenwood grad, has also been the Play-by-Play broadcaster for Saint Louis University Men’s Basketball team for the past 36 years. He has been named Missouri Broadcaster of the Year five different times and is inducted into the Hall of Fame’s at both Lindenwood and Saint Louis University.

The addition of Ramsey to the broadcasting team at Lindenwood speaks to the desire of wanting to have high-quality broadcasts.

“I had set the goal for our department and the production from the start that we would be regarded as the best,” Tolle said. “It’s still very early but I would say so far if we’re not the best, we’re right there as the best in the OVC and probably better than a lot of schools in other conferences.”

Lindenwood Athletics is only a little over a month into most of these production upgrades but from a viewer’s standpoint, it would be difficult to notice how recently they started on this path.