Last week Kansas City Chiefs president Mark Donovan joined Bob Fescoe and Mark Carman on 610 Sports and I'm just getting around to listening to the podcast of it. Donovan had some interesting things to say about the technological upgrades that are coming to the game day experience at Arrowhead Stadium.
A few updates on what's happening out at Arrowhead this year and years down the line...
Better in-stadium replays are coming. Donovan said that the Chiefs will now be able to show at the stadium the same replays that the referee sees when challenging a play. Some of those replays will also be available to the TV viewer but others will not. This is all part of the Chiefs effort to make the game day experience at Arrowhead feel a little more exclusive.
On a side note...Donovan also talked about the Chiefs PA announcer in previous years and how he would try to get the fans riled up on third downs and things like that. Apparently, that was not allowed and a finable action by the league. (Donovan didn't give an exact fine amount but said between $10,000-$100,000.) That's going away and the Chiefs will now be given a little more leeway in what the PA announcer can say. From an on-field standpoint, this (hopefully) gets the crowd even louder which makes it even harder on the opponent.
Ticketless technology is coming. The Chiefs announced last week that all season ticket holders will receive a membership card, which can give them access to the stadium (i.e. act as their ticket) and give them discounts at concession stands.
One of the first concerns when this was announced was how fans could sell their tickets to others. Donovan says that will be an easy process by transferring it online. If I have season tickets, I can transfer one of my tickets to Chris, who could then print off the ticket and come to the stadium with the ticket. All that can be done on your own, Donovan said.
The one fee potentially involved in all of this is if you lost your actual membership card. They can replace it, but there would be a fee attached to it, Donovan said.
As a hint of what's to come in the next few years, Donovan said: "Sooner or later, probably sooner, people are going to walk into sporting events with nothing but their PDAs, cellphones or whatever and that will be the transaction."
That's a trend coming to every business. In fact, I bought a Sprite at CVS about an hour ago and simply flashed my phone to pay. Ah, Google Wallet is awesome.
WiFi also coming to Arrowhead. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said this week that all NFL stadiums will start incorporating WiFi into their stadiums. That includes the Chiefs, who Donovan says are facing about a two-year project in adding the technology that will enable people to smoothly access the internet on their phones inside the stadium.
Donovan calls it a two-year project to get this done.