New Kansas City Chiefs COO talked with Josh Looney about some of his plans for the future. Donovan covers a few topics including the changes to Arrowhead and connecting the team to the fans.
He also talks about some of the reaction to the replacement of the Ring of Honor.
I expressed some disappointment with the news that the cast-iron names of all the former Chiefs greats wouldn't be displayed around the ring of the stadium.
After that, however, I received a few details on the new Hall of Honor, essentially the replacement of the Ring of Honor.
Instead of the names around the stadium, which I admit I'll miss because it was tradition, an entire hall will be dedicated to the Chiefs former greats. It won't open until 2010 but the Chiefs are excited about what's inside. It's received plenty of involvement from Clark Hunt and Denny Thum, two of the longest tenured members of the Chiefs organization.
Below are Donovan's comments. Full video can be seen at the Mothership.
How was your first experience in Arrowhead with the fans?
"Everything I've heard about Arrowhead, and the one experience I had when the Eagles came out here and played, is as described. It's just a fantastic environment. It was a little wet that night.
"It's a great opportunity for our fans to see some of the bigger, better new areas of the stadium.
"The key for us is that it's every level in the stadium right now. As everybody knows it's 2010 until it's done. Any fans who comes to the stadium this year, any level this year, will have a positive impact.
"Wider concourses, more bathrooms, newer bathrooms. The inner bowl experience is second to none LED boards and 360 ribbons."
The Ring of Honor is gone but will be replaced by the new Chiefs Hall of Honor. There were some reactions to that.
"Absolutely. Change is tough. And when you're changing icons, we obviously knew this was going to be an issue and we expected some feedback. The reality is the new treatment for the Ring of Honor, and what we will introduce in 2010 with the new Hall of Honor, will be specific to each of these great men that played for this franchise.
"When we went into the planning talking Denny and Clark and some others, we realized we were going to run out of space pretty quickly on the acutal ring as it existed so this gave us an opportunity to treat it in a different way.
"Having the LED boards constantly in the stadium is a big plus as well."
What is your vision off the field in connecting the Chiefs to the fans?
"Winning at everything we do. It's not just on the field but to be in the right mindset that we can do better at everything we do. Whether it's our website, merchandise, fan relations...it's doing a better job.
"We're also active in the affairs of the league. Lamar was that and developed it in the AFL but obviously Clark has followed in his footsteps and he's one of the most respected owners out there."