By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — While you watch games you are at times overwhelmed with statistics. It’s part of the game — part of the broadcast.

Welcome to Stats Central, otherwise known as Sportradar. In downtown Minneapolis, they are the stats headquarters.

“So Sportradar is all about sports data, right? We collect, we buy the rights to and distribute sports data all over the world. I mean, we do it for the AP, so every sports stat you read in the newspaper is coming from us,” Dave Abbott said.

What they have to be is accurate — very accurate.

“We’re constantly validating the data. I mean, we play fantasy football. If you’re off by a yard, and you beat me, because of our mistake, it’s not so good. So we have to be accurate, we’ve got to be fast,” Abbott said.

How they do it is an exercise in organization. They hire mostly college kids to log and score games.

“Sports knowledge is important, for sure. You have to be able to score a game. But we’ll teach you the finer details of that,” Abbott said. “You just have to be really able to multi-process the game, right? You got to remember that number 28 ran to the 43 yard line and was tackled by number 51.”

What they look for are people who can understand and ingest on the fly.

“You can’t be a fan, actually. You’ve got to be an analyst,” Abbott said.

So they sit and watch and concentrate on every pitch.

“So all the normal statistics that you would, that you’ll see in your line scores, your box scores, everything that you’d see in your play-by-play, all of those atomic elements are all being entered,” Abbott said.

It started small and now it’s big — very big.

“Forty-three sports. Again, completely global. Everywhere from North America, South America, all over Europe, all over Asia. We have complete coverage of the sports,” Abbott said.

Mike Max


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