Anyone who has wanted to watch a live version of the East L.A. Classic – the annual match up between the Garfield and Roosevelt high school football teams – has had to do so in person. Even a tape-delayed broadcast of the game produced by the City of Los Angeles was eliminated a few years ago because of budget cuts. Next week, however, the 78th East L.A. Classic between the Roosevelt Roughriders of Boyle Heights and the Garfield Bulldogs of East Los Angeles will be broadcast live on Time Warner Cable-the first live broadcast in more than 20 years. Not everyone, however, has been thrilled with the idea of watching the East L.A. Classic on T.V.
A camera crew will join the high school football team and fans at East L.A. College on Friday, Oct. 26 as part of expanded coverage of high school school athletics by Time Warner Cable Deportes, a new Spanish-language regional sports channel. The channel telecast last week’s Lincoln High vs. Marshall High came and is now preparing for next week’s contest between Garfield vs. Roosevelt.
“As one of the most high-profile sporting events in all of Los Angeles, Time Warner Cable Deportes’ telecast of this important local football rivalry will include a one-hour pre-game show, all of the half-time activity happening with local fans and families, as well as a complete post game wrap-up,” according to a Time Warner announcement issued last week.
Javier Cid, the head football coach at Roosevelt, said the last live, TV broadcast of the game took place in the late 1980s or early 1990s by one of the local Spanish-language networks. While Cid said he welcomes a live broadcast of the game, some others have expressed their reservations, he said.
“The administration and some people that are involved in the game are afraid that if you broadcast live the attendance will go down,” said Cid, who has been the head coach for seven years. “I don’t believe that will be the case it. It will just make it a lot easier for people to watch the game who cant make it to the” stadium.
“I think it’s about time that this game had its due because it’s one of the best game around without a doubt.”