Saturday, August 15, 2009

New Era Begins at 1 Arrowhead Drive in Kansas City

I would assume like many Kansas City homers, I woke up today with a
slight hangover and sense of excitement. Ozzy Osborne's "Crazy Train" was blairing through my head on repeat. Yes!! It is football season in Kansas City! It starts tonight. Your Kansas City Chiefs will start a new era against the Houston Texans with a 7:00 kick off tonight in Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium. That being said, there are a lot of new things to be seen tonight, including the stadium.

The renovations at Arrowhead Stadium are 70 percent completed due to a $375 million renovation funded by Kansas City tax payers and the Hunt family. Arrowhead officials say that fans attending tonight's game will see a lot of changes. The changes and improvements to the stadium include widened concourses, new restrooms, new concession stands with a larger variety of offerings, high resolution video boards in each endzone, a ribbon board circling the entire stadium, new sound system, and new lighting. That is just what is completed so far. While construction crews are way ahead of schedule, there is still much to be done including the press boxes, penthouse suite, party decks, more restrooms, more concession stands, etc...

Along with the changes to the stadium comes a major change in the organization. The change started at the top with the hiring of General Manager, Scott Pioli. He then hired Chiefs new head coach, Todd Haley. Coach Haley basically dismantled the coaching staff and replaced them with "his guys." These may be some of the more subtle changes. The team itself has practically been overhauled. While the team is laden in players that should be retired such as Zach Thomas and Bobby Engram, they do provide some much needed veteran leadership. There are also a group of new rookies led by 1st round draft pick, Tyson Jackson. Additionally, you should look for players that might have flown under the radar that should be of great impact this year such as Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr.

Yes. I love this time of year. There is nothing in the world like pulling into the parking lot and smelling the smoke generated by grills firing up all kinds of wonderful food. It brings back the memories of Bill Grigsby urging you to shop at Price Chopper and Mitch Holtus breaking down pre-game information and interviews with Len Dawson. The local and national pride that is displayed as the national anthem comes to an end and we let the opposing team know that they are in the "home of the Chiefs." The excitement of the first kick off as the crowd roars while Ozzy is going off the rails on a crazy train. Tonight will be exciting to see all that is new meet all of the tradition of old. GO CHIEFS!!!

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