Media Policies

Columbus Crew SC would like to thank all members of the media who cover the Club. We enjoy working with you and are looking forward to doing so again during the continuation of our 25th Major League Soccer season and our 21st season at MAPFRE Stadium. Should you have any questions about this guide, please contact Tim Miller [tmiller@columbuscrewsc.com] or Carlos Mojica [cmojica@columbuscrewsc.com].

The media policy for the remainder of the 2020 MLS season has been altered so as to comply with the necessary health measures due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety of all media members as well as players and staff will be at the forefront of each matchday communications and media relations operations efforts.

Crew SC Communications will work to ensure that media members receive quality matchday service and continue to have access to provide coverage of matches while abiding by social distancing guidelines.

MATCH ATTENDANCE: CREDENTIALS

Previously issued 2020 MAPFRE Stadium full-season media credentials will not be utilized/accepted for the venue for the remainder of the 2020 season so all individuals must follow the match-by-match credential policy outlined in this section.

For the remainder of the 2020 MLS season, all media members – including those who previously had full season credentials – must apply for a day-of-match credentials no later than 72 hours prior to the match they wish to attend via an online form.

For clarity and example: the media credential deadline for the Club’s home match against the Chicago Fire on Thursday, August 20 at 7:30 p.m. ET will be Monday, August 17 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

On or before the 72-hour media credential deadline for each match, media members will receive an email with an update on the status of the single-match credential application. Approved single-match credentials may only be picked up upon arrival to Gate 2 on matchday as part of the media check-in process outlined below.

For the remainder of the 2020 MLS season, all members of the media granted a single-match credential will be considered “Tier 3 individuals”. Tier 3 indivduals are Individuals who provide event services but do not come into close contact with Tier 1 Individuals (should this occur, will be reclassified into Tier 2). This Tier should be limited to sixty (60) individuals for matches without spectators.

Examples of relevant individuals: Certain team staff (e.g., those who are not in close proximity to players), Certain operational staff (e.g., security, accommodations, League staff who are not in close proximity to players, scoreboard operator, media services, sanitation, transportation), Additional media, Additional broadcast personnel (e.g., below the line production personnel in TV trucks), Certain catering staff.


PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (“PPE”) for “Tier 3 Individuals”

Per Major League Soccer:

1. SCREENING & MONITORING

All Tier 3 Individuals will be subject to Arrival Screening (described below).

2. PHYSICAL DISTANCING

Tier 3 Individuals must avoid any direct or close contact with Tier 1 Individuals or touch surfaces or objects that Tier 1 Individuals (including players, coaches, training / medical staff and officials) are likely to touch (such as by providing services before or after Tier 1 Individuals are present).

3. PPE

Clubs must require Tier 3 Individuals to wear face masks at all times whenever present at Club Facilities and while traveling.

HEALTH AND SAFETY RULES

Per Major League Soccer:

All media personnel will be required to undergo a temperature check and complete a Standardized Screening Questionnaire on each matchday prior to being granted entry to the stadium.

By receiving a media credential, media personnel agree to observe all MLS and Club rules, any applicable government guidance, and other precautionary steps that are in place to preserve health and safety, including physical distancing, PPE, and hygiene guidelines in all media areas, including, but not limited to, the press seating areas, photographer/ENG positions, photo workroom, and post-match press conference areas. 

Failure to comply with any health and safety initiatives will result in a loss of access to the stadium. Such health and safety protocols must include, at a minimum, the following:

 Media personnel should bring their own face mask to the stadium, but Clubs must provide face masks to media personnel upon request.

 Media personnel must practice physical distancing from one another and others whenever possible when inside the stadium.

 Tier 3 media personnel must maintain physical distance from Tier 1 or Tier 2 Individuals and must wear face masks at all times.

 Tier 3 media personnel are not permitted in close proximity to players, coaches, or other Tier 1 or Tier 2 Individuals at any time.

 Tier 2 media personnel must maintain, whenever possible, physical distance from Tier 1 Individuals and wear face masks at all times.

 Media personnel are required to wash or disinfect their hands frequently and may be required to wear

gloves in certain instances.

 If a Club provides food service to media personnel, such food must be provided as individually packaged meals in takeout form.

Crew SC Communications and Tier 3 Individuals

For the remainder of the 2020 MLS season, all members of the media granted a single-match credential (a “Tier 3 Individual”) must fill out an online survey prior to attending the match. Media members will then enter MAPFRE Stadium through Gate 2, located on the east side of the building adjacent to parking B Lot. MAPFRE Stadium opens to members of the media beginning two hours prior to kickoff unless otherwise noted. Before receiving the first single-match credential, all media members must agree to the Crew SC media waiver.

Credentials MUST be visible and worn at all times. Lost credentials and/or parking passes must be reported immediately to Crew SC Communications. All credentials for attending media are printed.


2020 MATCHDAY MEDIA PARKING, ENTRANCE INSTRUCTIONS AND PASSES &  HEALTH QUESTIONNAIRE AND TEMPERATURE SCREENING PROCESS FOR
TIER 3 INDIVIDUALS

Questionnaire

Crew SC will issue a health questionnaire on matchday that must be completed and approved for access to MAPFRE Stadium.

Temperature Screening

Tier 3 Match Day Screening Station

  • Media Will Call (Gate 2) will be the location for the media entrance. Unless otherwise indicated, media will call will open two hours prior to the listed match start time.
  • Media member will park in designated lot, adhering to every other parking space policy
  • Media member will approach allocated screening station, being conscious of whether there is an individual queued ahead of them. If there is, they will adhere to social distancing principles (at least 10 ft) and create that space between themselves and the other staff member
  • Medcare staff will perform a temperature check on media member using a digital forehead thermometer
  • Media member will use hand sanitizer before moving on to the next station
  • Those with a temperature >/=100.4oF will be immediately referred for additional medical screening away from the facility and told to self-isolate
  • In the event it is needed, the isolation room will be an additional tent set up a distance from the screening station and not within the facility 
    • After the media member has left the room this will be thoroughly cleaned immediately by contract cleaning staff whose protocol reflects specific EPA guidance.


Parking
 

Previously issued full-season media B Lot parking permits/passes for the 2020 MLS season will continue to be honored. You must display the full-season parking pass. Media Parking will be located in B Lot; to access B Lot, enter MAPFRE Stadium through Gate 17. Media members will park in the designated lot, adhering to every other parking space policy.

Members of the media that have been approved for a single-match credential and were not previously issued a season-long parking permit will be added to a list, granting them access to the B Lot. As media credentials will be issued on a single-match basis, no new full-season media parking passes will be issued, but, as stated, previously issued B Lot parking permits will be honored.

Directions: Take I-71 to the Hudson Street exit (Exit 112). If you are traveling South-bound on I-71 go straight through the light at the top of the ramp. If you are traveling North-bound on I-71, take a left at the light at the top of the ramp and take another left at the first light. This will put you onto Silver Drive. Get in the right-hand lane and turn Right at the next light. Go past Lowe’s and MAPFRE Stadium will be on your right. Gate 17 is past Gate 19. For the 17th Avenue entrance, exit I-71 at 17th Avenue and proceed to the gate.

MEDIA WILL CALL, ENTERING MAPFRE STADIUM

After parking, proceed to stadium Gate 2 for Crew SC’s Media Will Call. Gate 2 is located on the East Side of MAPFRE Stadium adjacent to the B Lot. All photographers, local TV camera crews, print and digital media members with press box or photo work room access must enter this season, every match, through stadium Gate 2. 

A member of the Crew SC Communications staff will distribute all photo vests upon arrival at the media will call at Gate 2.

All members of the media that have sent credential RSVP emails and received confirmation should approach the credential table under the tent for check-in. All health questionnaire and temperature screening protocols must be followed and approved. Media members will then be permitted to enter the building via escort by a Crew SC Communications staff member at Media Will Call.

Media members are reminded to dress professionally and are asked not to wear gear of either club participating in the match or competing sponsors with local or League affiliates. This pertains to photo zone products such as water bottles. Media members are also to adhere to PPE guidelines listed in this policy per Major League Soccer.
 

MAPFRE STADIUM PRESS BOX BUILDOUT

For the remainder of the 2020 MLS season, members of the written press (print/digital) will be seated at the press box build-out. Access to the press box buildout begins in conjunction with the opening of Media Will Call at the two-hour mark prior to kick on Crew SC matchdays. Upon checking in, members of the media will be escorted to their workspace as a group by a member of Crew SC Communications.

The press box build-out will be located in the North Bridge (behind the stage) and will have a table, power outlet and wi-fi for media members, with only one media member per six-foot table. Food will be delivered in a to-go box and each media member will have two water bottles placed in his/her seat location prior to the match. Members of the media will not have access to the permanent press box that is typically utilized on the upper concourse on the north east side of the building.

Admittance to the press box build out is limited to working media members with valid credentials and all seats will be assigned in socially distant spaces as outlined above. The press box buildout is intended for the purpose of providing a workplace.

PHOTO WORK ROOM, PHOTO BIBS/VESTS AND FIELD ACCESS

Photo/video work space and photo/video shooting space will be assigned with random selection to place photographers/videographers into work spaces and shooting locations in accordance with social distancing capacities and to ensure each photographer/videographer receives one half behind the goal in which the Crew attacks.

Photo work spaces:

As outlined above, the current photo work room will be assigned for some photographers/videographers, while the rest will be assigned seats in the North Bridge press box build-out on the upper concourse due to the limited space. The press box build-out will have a table, power outlet and wi-fi. Additionally, there will only be one media member per six-foot table.

For assigned seats in either the press box build-out or the photo work room, food will be delivered in a to-go box and each media member will be given two water bottles prior to the match. Members of the media assigned to work spaces in the press box build out may not switch seats (within their assigned space or to a different location) or enter the photo work room and members of the media assigned to the photo work room may not enter the press box build out or switch seats (within their assigned space or to a different location).

All photographers and local TV photographers with day-of-match credentials should proceed through stadium Gate 2 and will then be escorted to their seating locations.

Photo bibs/vest: In addition to their regular credential, it is required that photographers and camera crews obtain and wear a colored bib/vest, making them easy to identify. For the remainder of the 2020 MLS season, videographers and photographers will be given an orange bib by a Crew SC staff member. Following the match, photographers and videographers must leave bibs at one of the following drop-off locations so that they may be washed ahead of the next match. These are located at Gate 2, at the photo work room and at the stage exit.

Photo positioning access: Tier 3 Videographers and photographers (as well as any written press [print/digital] members) will not have access to the field level. Instead, Tier  videographers and photographers will be designated to be at either the stage (North side of the venue) or in Section 115 (South side of venue).

Each individual will be randomly assigned to either the stage or section 115, ensuring everyone receives at least 45 minutes of action in which the Crew is shooting on the goal closest to them. Information on location for match will be communicated upon confirmation of attendance for matches.

Photographers and videographers will be escorted to their respective designated spots as a group by a Crew SC Communications staff member 15 minutes prior to kickoff. While at either of the above two locations, photographers/videographers must wear a bib and remain six feet apart from one another. Spots where media members may shoot from will be clearly marked. Photographers and videographers may move only from designated shooting location (done via escortment from a Crew SC photo marshal)to their workspace and may not change to a different location at halftime in accordance with ensuring each photographer/videographer receives 45 minutes of action which the Crew is shooting on the goal closest to them. Crew SC photo marshals will be available to assist with any questions that may arise.

Additionally, for the remainder of the 2020 MLS regular season there will no longer be starting XI photos. For further clarity, all Tier 3 individuals will not have access to the field and will be unable to access the field for pre-match/in-match/post-match photos and must shoot all photos/videos from their assigned shooting location as outlined above.

Pre-match live shots for news outlets:

Media Will Call opens two hours prior to the match for media entrance. Members of the news media looking to do a live hit right at the two-hour mark should reach out to a member of Crew SC Communications to coordinate entrance. However, any news live shots before the two-hour mark will take place outside of the stadium on the south side of the venue but should be done at a social distance. No live shots may take place in the stadium during match action. Photographers and videographers that utilized the stage for live shots after media will call has opened and up until 15 minutes before the listed start time must then adhere to their assigned spaces for the match.

MEDIA AVAILABILITY / LOCKER ROOM POLICY / LIVE VIDEO POLICY

General:

In general, all media, including credentialed media to each match, will conduct all interviews via a fully remote video conference.

Players and coaches will be required to wear face masks for all interviews.

For post-game press conferences, select players and coaches from both the home and visiting Clubs must be made available to all general media via a video teleconference platform to begin approximately 15 minutes from the final whistle of each match.

Members of the media will not have access to face-to-face interviews with Crew SC players, technical members or personnel in order to respect socially distancing guidelines. As such, media members will not have access to player locker rooms or other restricted areas as part of the MLS protocol.

Members of the media members will access video conference calls through their laptop or mobile device from their workspace areas (and must continue to wear masks as part of the Tier 3 individual protocol). On Matchdays, members of the media may also join video conference availabilities remotely/away from the facility.

Press conferences and interviews with the Head Coach post-match and Matchday Minus 2:

Two days before each match (“Matchday Minus 2”) and post-match, the Club will make Crew SC’s Head Coach as well as select players available via video conference. A link for the video conference will be distributed to media members ahead of matchday-2 and ahead of the matchday will begin approximately 15 minutes after the conclusion of the matchday minus 2 training session or match contest. All credentialed members of the media are permitted to record the video conference. Digital access to the Crew’s opponent’s post-match availability or match preview availabilities should be coordinated with a member of the opponent’s communications staff. Crew SC Communications is happy to put you in touch with the correct PR staffer upon request.

During match:

During match action, only club personnel and broadcast rights-holders may transmit live video footage from anywhere within MAPFRE Stadium. At the north and south designated zones (stage or section 115), non-rights-holders may record video of game action for highlights following MLS Broadcast highlight policies, but at no point during match action may they transmit live/streaming video footage including video for television and/or mobile and web-based programs. All transmissions of live video for TV stand-ups pre/post-match in designated media access zones must be pre-arranged and facilitated by a member of Crew SC Communications.

Player interviews:

No video recorded interviews post-match in the locker room will take place at player lockers, as there will not be access granted to the locker room area for either club. Matchday Minus 2 and Post-match press conferences – which will feature Crew SC’s Head Coach as well as two players – will be held via video conference.

Compliance:

All members of the media with approved credentials enter MAPFRE Stadium media access zones in agreement with said cell phone and recorded/live video policies and are subject to all other stated rules and regulations. Violations of any policy may be grounds for immediate revocation of the credential and removal from the premises.

FIELD ACCESS RESTRICTION

There will be no field-level access granted to members of the media throughout the resumption of home matches in the 2020 season.

APPLICABILITY OF CREDENTIAL

If you have any questions about access zones or the applicability of a credential, do not hesitate to ask Crew SC Communications.

As stated, Crew SC Communications will work to ensure that media members will receive quality matchday service and continue to have access to provide coverage of matches while abiding by social distancing guidelines. The health and safety of all media members as well as players and staff will be at the forefront of each matchday communications and media operations efforts.