HAZARD — ESPN’s College GameDay is more than merely a popular sports broadcast. It is a college basketball phenomenon. Fans funnel into their favorite teams’ arenas hours before tip-off to take part in the experience. Rupp Arena is a regular destination for the GameDay crew. As the GameDay bus travels toward Lexington to cover Kentucky’s highly contested match-up against the Kansas Jayhawks, it will make a special stop in Hazard at the Walmart Supercenter Thursday, Jan. 26 for a special event hosted by Laura Feltner of State Farm.
The GameDay bus features lounges with leather sofas and reclining captain’s chairs, a galley kitchen and rest room. The bus has seven HD televisions in the front, a rear lounge with five receivers so the GameDay team can watch five different games at once in order to collect information for their shows.
The ESPN College GameDay announce team (Rece Davis, Jay Bilas, Seth Greenberg and Jay Williams), along with the production staff, use the bus for planning and preparation sessions and to relax between the Saturday morning show and evening telecasts. The bus travels throughout the country and stops at all seven of the College GameDay sites.
The bus will be open in Hazard for guests to tour from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday Jan. 26. The College GameDay announce team will not be present, as they will arrive in Lexington two days later when the game occurs.
However, basketball fans of all ages are welcome to take pictures and checkout ESPN’s state-of-the-art traveling facility. Laura Feltner will also be in Lexington on game day to hand the ball off for the State Farm Half-Court Shot, which will take place during ESPN’s College GameDay broadcast Saturday morning.
Sam Neace can be reached at 606-629-3243 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.