Yesterday i photographed the inauguration game off the EURO2016. I.e. the European soccer championships.
For those of my friends/readers outside Europe.
Here in Europe football, or as you call it in the U.S. "Soccer" is the biggest sport of all. And the European championship is only played every fourth year.
So from a European perspective, there are only two events that are bigger than this in the world of sports.
(The FIFA Soccer World cup, and the Olympics).
Getting a media/photographers accreditation involves UEFA.
(You need to have a UEFA media account to apply for accreditation).
UEFA assigns every nation with a fixed number for journalists and photographers that can receive a accreditation.
And then your national football association, in conjunction with your nation sports journalist association makes a priority list.
(I'm working for two photo agencies att the same time, both which transmits the images to other agencies around the world).
Now, there are more photographers that have received accreditations than there are photographers positions in any game.
In total there are about 3200 media accreditation and 4600 applications received.
Not sure about how many off that who are photographers.
Therefore, the accreditation are valid for the whole tournament.
But you need to apply for, and get a confirmed "media booking" to get a photographers spot in a game.
I was one of 140 photographers that had pitch access.
(Some photographers used a higher Position, don't know how many they are).
With that many photographers att the pitch.
There are some practical aspects to it.
Therefore photographers are assigned to one of three priority groups.
In each group, photographers has their individual priority.
Group one photographers need to be in the photographers working area 210 minutes before the game starts. In order to choose their photographer position att the pitch.
Group 2, 160 minutes before the start.
And group 3, 120 minutes before the start.
More than that, you also need to consider the traffic situation.
Roads closed by the police.
Which for photographers like me can take some time considering all the gear that need to get cleared. (Wont get into detail about that.)
I'm much thankful for my friend Jonas Lindqvist who prepared me that things can sometimes be a bit "messy".
Overall the organization are doing a great job. But with events this big.
You need to be on place i good time. And expect things to be a lot different than they use to be att a more regular game.
The gear below are not mine.