By Sarah Cunningham-Scharf
If you’ve attended a Rams game in the past four years, you’ve probably heard his voice.
Alex Bloomfield is in his fourth year of the radio and television arts program. He’s been announcing at hockey, basketball and volleyball games since his first year.
Bloomfield began public address announcing his brother’s hockey games in his hometown of Ilderton, Ont. (just north of London, Ont.) when he was 12 years old.
“I wanted to be in sports broadcasting since [I was] eight,” he says. “I used to have hockey cards and I’d be commentating them to myself in my room.”
When he arrived at Ryerson, he was looking for a work-study position and saw the in-house announcer job posting on the Rams website. After reading a script over the phone to audition, he got the job.
Though he’d had experience in-house announcing in Ilderton, he was still nervous. “I remember during a Ryerson game in the first year I was holding the script and I was shaking doing the starting lineups. My voice wasn’t shaking but my hand was shaking and I couldn’t stop,” he says with a laugh.
Bloomfield’s most memorable moment as an announcer happened in his first year during a women’s basketball game held in Kerr Hall, before the move to the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) in 2012.
“At the end of that game a fifth-year guard for Ryerson hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to win and the place erupted. There were maybe 400 people there, but it was louder than I’d ever heard at a Ryerson game before. I was screaming into the microphone and I couldn’t hear myself.”
Bloomfield says much like a performance, preparation goes into each game. “We go in two hours ahead. We go through the script.
Then I’m going around and getting pronunciations [of names].
The pre-game announcements start about a half-hour before the game. I know the script pretty much off memory at this point.” Though he alters his voice slightly, Bloomfield says he announces “by the book.”
“I’ve always been about the deadpan monotone for the visitor and a bit of excited yelling for the home team,” he says. “Everyone enjoys that.”
Last year, he got the chance to do in-house announcing at four Toronto Marlies hockey games.
This year, he’s the official backup to the Marlies’ regular announcer – which puts him in the “number three spot” behind Toronto Maple Leafs announcer Andy Frost, who is also his idol.
Soon, Bloomfield will begin an internship at Sportsnet that he hopes will turn into a full-time job in sports media. Though in-house announcing doesn’t pay enough to be a full-time job, he hopes to continue doing it on the side.
“You get excited. If it’s your first game somewhere then you’re nervous,” he says. “[But] once you get used to it, it’s gone, but there’s still that excitement.”