Director of fun: Coy entertains Petco crowd
With new videoboard at disposal, Padres control-room crew has canvas for creativity
SAN DIEGO -- Walking into the control room at Petco Park during a game, one might notice a resemblance to a major television network newscast.
There are about 15 people, some with headsets on and some with their eyes locked on the screen in front of them. There is a Major League Baseball game about to begin, and at the center of it all is senior director of game day presentation Matt Coy.
"Live shot of the Tony Gwynn statue," Coy says into his mic. He then turns to his co-worker at his left and asks if he received walk-up music for recently-called-up outfielder Travis Jankowski.
"Can I get a list of the 'Way Back Wednesday' photos?" Coy asks a few seconds later, while peering at the list of roughly 40 celebrities they can use to look for doppelgangers in the crowd.
Although there is a game in progress below them, there is a show that Coy and his crew must put on.
"There is the game on the field, and then there is everything else -- and that's usually under my umbrella," Coy said. "From the moment someone gets out of their car or mass transportation until they get back in it, I am there to entertain them. They are spending their hard-earned cash to watch a ballgame and be entertained, and our staff is half that equation."
Throughout each game, Coy gives cues for what goes on the brand-new Petco Park videoboard, which stands 61.2 feet tall and spans 123.6 feet, making it the third largest in MLB. From videos of Padres players reading mean tweets about themselves to a spoof on a One Direction music video starring San Diego's starting pitchers, with the addition of Joaquin Benoit, Coy's job is to make sure the crowd at Petco is entertained day in and day out.
"Every week we get together and throw around ideas and brainstorm. There are a lot of really interesting [ideas], and probably not so good, and a lot of good ideas," Coy said. "You get ideas all over the place, but some of them stick."
Coy, who has been part of in-game entertainment for sporting events ranging from the Olympics to hockey and soccer, worked with the Dallas Cowboys the past five years before coming to the Padres in January -- with his job focusing on how to make the most of the videoboard.
Coy credits the Padres' organization from top to bottom for its support of creativity, which in turn has challenged the production crew to find new ways to entertain the crowd and come up with videos like "Upton Funk," in honor of San Diego's All-Star left fielder, Justin Upton.
Padres outfielder Wil Myers said that the players have seen the content on the videoboard a lot by this time of the season, but when they first aired, he said his personal favorite was the mean tweets, and he enjoys "Upton Funk" as well.
"You got a screen at home, so why are you coming to the ballpark?" Coy said. "Well, you are coming to the ballpark because you want to be part of something -- and that's what my job is, to make them feel part of something. We have to be there so people feel like they are having fun no matter what is happening in the game."