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Student-run radio station turns pro during Super Bowl week

Blaze Radio given all-access pass to broadcast at multiple events for the big game — including 'Radio Row'

Trio of ASU students standing behind Super Bowl sign in Phoenix.

The broadcast team of "Furtado and Seymour," a sports talk show program on Blaze Radio, ASU's official student-run radio station. From left: Ryan Sykora, Jake Seymour and Noah Furtado. Photo courtesy of Susan Wong

February 09, 2023

Editor’s note: This story is featured in the 2023 year in review.

The distance from Arizona State University's Downtown Phoenix campus to State Farm Stadium and other Super Bowl event locations around the Valley is only a matter of miles, but it's the journey of a lifetime for those working behind the microphone at Blaze Radio.

The student-run radio station was given an all-access pass to broadcast for Super Bowl week.

“It was pure excitement when we were given the news,” said second-year sports journalism major Jake Seymour, co-host of “Furtado and Seymour,” a sports talk show program on Blaze Radio that is co-hosted by Noah Furtado and produced by Ryan Sykora, both second-year sports journalism majors. “For someone who grew up on sports radio in Boston, this was a big goal of mine.”

Blaze Radio is a 24/7 broadcast based out of the Bill Austin Radio Studio at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication building in downtown Phoenix that streams music, entertainment and sports news. In August 2022, they were named “The Best College Radio Station” in the country by “The Princeton Review.”

Seymour said he spent the better part of a year researching how to obtain press credentials for the Super Bowl and other major professional sporting events. His research paid off.

Last November, Blaze Radio was awarded press credentials for the 2023 Super Bowl, which entitled them to attend various events, press conferences and Super Bowl Opening Night at the Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix. 

The Super Bowl Week credentials have also won them a spot on the prestigious “Radio Row.” Approximately 100 stations from around the world are broadcasting live from Radio Row at the Super Bowl Media Center at the Downtown Convention Center in Phoenix this week. This gives Blaze Radio an opportunity to network and rub elbows with major media and sports personalities, some of whom they hope will appear on their show.

Furtado said while he was thrilled at the opportunity, he was happier for his co-host than for himself.

“While it’s a really cool thing for me to be part of this, I’m really more excited for Jake because this is his dream, because he wants to go into radio as a profession. There will be a lot of things going on this week," he said.

Furtado is also referring to the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which the show will discuss in the coming week. After all, it’s the most attended golf tournament in the world and is known to sports enthusiasts as “the greatest show on grass.”

Zachary Woolley, Blaze Radio’s web director, said both events will showcase to the Valley and other media what Blaze Radio can do.

“We’ve worked hard for the past several years to gain a foothold in this market, so we figured why not swing for the fences and apply for credentials?” said Woolley, who will graduate this year with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism. “What’s the worst that could happen? They say no? A lot of this is a testament to our sports team’s hard work.”

Hard work is something the station is used to, said Mallory Schnell, sports director of Blaze Radio.

“Broadcasting live from Super Bowl Radio Row and Waste Management Phoenix Open while still doing our regular broadcasts will be a lot of work, but I know it will be worth it,” said Schnell, who will graduate in May with a sports journalism degree. “I’m so proud of Blaze for all that we’ve accomplished, and this week is going to be such an incredible experience for our station.”

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