The NBA going through a very special season. The best basketball league in the world is celebrating 75 years of a history full of iconic moments and stars that forever marked world sport. Names of the likes of Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird or the most recent like Kobe Bryant or LeBron James they made the American competition one of the most important in the world.
Today, while a new campaign is being developed, the organization that has a Adam Silver as commissioner he prepared different events to celebrate the special anniversary year. But if there is something that the NBA protects like a treasure, it is its archive with the images of its entire history. In a bunker located just over 15 meters below the earth’s surface, even protected from nuclear attacks, and about 80 kilometers from New York, is one of the places that house one of the largest audiovisual content in world sport.
The compound, located in the city of Secaucus, New Jersey, it was built in the 60’s by technology brand AT&T and is now controlled by a data protection and disaster recovery company called Vital Records Inc. Named VRI, specialist in having hundreds of underground locations in North America that store millions of tape cartridges in an intensively monitored and controlled environment.
Through an article published by The Wall Street Journal, it was known that the great classifier that the NBA has with the images of its history has a memory capacity of almost 39,000,000 gigabytes of data. That number – about 37 petabytes-, is almost twice the size of the digital collection of the Library of Congress of the United States. A piece of data to measure the number of hours and hours of recordings that the bunker of the most important basketball league on the planet has.
It should be noted that this size increases day after day, especially in recent years with the technological innovations that the league established in the broadcasts of its matches. Each game is recorded in high definition with 12 camera shots, which increases the number of gigabytes.
“We have all the incredible moments that exist at our fingertips,” said Paul Hirschheimer, senior vice president of content production for the league, the US newspaper of the NBA archive underground that has its own management system.
All the information generated in the matches is automatically encoded with indexed statistics, play by play. “With a click or two, you’re literally looking at the video,” said Chris Halton, NBA’s senior vice president of technology and media operations. At the same time, the note highlights how valuable it was to have the images readily available and accessible when the league began using material to celebrate its 75th anniversary this season.
As the media was able to verify, within the security measures that the bunker has is that no cell phone signal. Something to highlight is that tape cartridges do not have an identification markerSuch as “Game 6 of the 1998 finals between Chicago and Utah”, where the remembered jump shot by Jordan took place, which earned the Bulls the sixth ring in their history.
The company in charge of the file has a small list of contacts authorized to access the collection and they refer to the NBA only by the customer’s formal account number. Supporting content is available to the league at any time of the day and, for routine maintenance purposes, the company has a scheduled pickup from league offices every two weeks.
But besides this compound in New Jersey, the company has the league material replicated elsewhere, which only a very few league executives accessed. The remaining establishment has almost 12 thousand square meters covered in two underground floors and is located one hour from the main archive.
“It is hidden at the top of an isolated road that runs along the side of a mountain and on a recent morning was shrouded in fog,” the newspaper explained. “People would have no idea this is located here,” Brian Cassidy, VRI account executive, commented on the anonymity of the space.