Posted: 10:29 p.m. Monday, July 29, 2013
By Chris Pokorny
Cleveland Browns team president Alec Scheiner held a press conference in Berea Monday afternoon to discuss new initiatives to enhance the gameday experience at FirstEnergy Stadium in 2013. Scheiner's press conference, which you can watch here, really hit on five points:
1. Stadium Entrance - Improving how long it takes to get into the stadium was one of the biggest complaints they heard. One thing that will help is the NFL's new bag policy. Season ticket holders will get transparent bags mailed to them. 44 new screening chutes and 20 new turnstiles will be added to the existing infrastructure. There will also be express lanes for fans who do not bring backs in.
They estimate that every 15 minutes, about 4,000 more fans can get into the stadium than before. You can see a PDF file of the blueprint for the entrances here. They also think improving the pre-game experience (bullet point five) will help encourage fans to be in their seats sooner, which will also help with logjams of people trying to get in just as the game is about to start.
2. Cell Phone Service - A new Verizon tower is being added, and the existing tower for AT&T; is being upgraded, which should improve service for those customers greatly.
3. Store Experience - This includes both the inventory and look-and-feel of the stores. They have upgraded their main store, and then added a bunch of mini-stores throughout the stadium.
4. Guest Experience - They hired a company called CSC. They are in the process of re-training all of the people at the stadium.
5. Gameday Experience/Rituals - There will be a DJ and speakers on the field before the game, a DJ in the booth during the game, etc. They will have unique features on the field based on suggestions from fans. There will be a drumline, which eight NFL teams have. They will have pyrotechnics, a different way for players to run on the field, and other stuff that they don't want to spoil yet.
Some of the changes above won't be rolled out until the home opener.
Scheiner also had high praise for VP of Fan Experience Kevin Griffin. He said that they interviewed over 30 people and had about 700 resumes for that position, and Kevin had the unique ability to connect with the community and then making it an experience that fits the community.