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Chiefs Unveil State-of-the-Art "TGS Conference Room" to Improve All Aspects of Game Day

The room will act as a central data center tasked with tackling long lines and other issues

A game day at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium is a massive operation that transforms the home of the reigning Super Bowl champions into a city larger than Lenexa and Liberty combined.

There are numerous moving parts that make the entire thing work, from parking attendants to concession vendors and so much more in-between. Without those key systems in place, the tens of thousands of fans who congregate at the Truman Sports Complex every game day wouldn't have the benefit of experiencing the best atmosphere in all of sports.

The Chiefs are always looking for ways to enhance that experience, however, and their latest endeavor aims to achieve that goal with a brand new, state-of-the-art data analytics center that is solely focused on making game day even better.

"There is data coming in from a dozen inputs around the stadium, and while this data has always existed, this is a matter of using it more efficiently," said Kevin Higgins, the Chiefs' Vice President of Information Technology. "It's a focused and recognized effort more than something new. Previously, we each dealt with our various challenges in different ways from our departmental silos, but now, we're solving them through a complete team effort."

That operation is taking place in the newly-constructed TGS Conference Room, which is named for the Official IT Provider of the Chiefs. It essentially acts as a command center that features representatives from the Chiefs' data analytics department, ticket sales, stadium operations, fan experience and information technology.

"The idea is to evaluate all of the data that we have coming in so that we can enhance the fan experience, both in the moment and in the long run," Higgins said. "For example, if there is data that says lines are long in one part of the stadium, how can we assess that and get some activity there to shorten those lines?"


The TGS Conference Room acts as a central hub for that incoming data, which includes inputs from Ticketmaster, Aramark, Levy and other aspects of the game day experience. Ideally, the information that the room evaluates will evolve in the weeks and years to come.

"We have nine screens in there that we can broadcast to the group of people who are in the room," Higgins explained. "The metrics we're looking at include the ingress of parking, the ingress to the stadium and how fast transactions are happening at Aramark and Levy. The data displayed will change over time because, hopefully, after we look at some data and we find a problem, we'll correct it and move on to something else."

The room will affect numerous aspects of the game day operation on a weekly basis, but its most profound impact will likely be in the most basic of ways: shortening lines into the stadium.

"Being able to react immediately to inconsistencies we are seeing in stadium entry, among other areas, and provide solutions that may prevent fan inconveniences is a key component of the room and the technology being used," said Tyler Kirby, the Chiefs' Executive Vice President of Business Development. "The TGS Conference Room is a great resource for our team to collaborate and make real-time decisions to improve the fan experience."


The concept for the TGS Conference Room began to take shape about five years ago. The Chiefs didn't have a centralized data analytics practice back then, but in the time since, the organization has hired and outfitted an entire department of data scientists under the leadership of Vice President of Finance, Strategy & Analytics Michael Ragsdale.

"We create all the internal dashboards that track a portion of the game day experience for fans," Ragsdale said. "Essentially, we're tracking the flow of the day and providing communication to the organization in a very clear and concise way to show how the day is going."

Ragsdale's team helps identify if there are issues in that flow, from technical problems with ticket scanners to staffing troubles. That process has been in place for years, but the TGS Conference Room ideally streamlines it considerably.

"It's the things we don't want fans to worry about," Ragsdale said. "We don't want fans thinking about things like going through security or getting their ticket scanned. We want them to only think about the game and how they're going to enjoy it. Everything else should be in the background, and this data helps us proactively achieve that."

The room – which sits behind the ticket office and next to the Pro Shop – began operations during the Chiefs' playoff run in January and will enter its first full season this upcoming fall. It's a project years in the making, but as Higgins explained, the real work still lies ahead.

"It wasn't a huge lift to build the room – the lift is what's next," Higgins said. "Building displays to show the data that we're wanting to look at is the easy part. The hard part is figuring out what data we should be looking at, and once we've looked at it, what do we do with it? That's where our cross-functional team will work together, and hopefully, what we get out of this room on Day 1 is going to look completely different a year from now."


The room's usage goes beyond just game day, too, as it also acts as a collaborative meeting space that can efficiently show relevant data pertinent to a variety of departments and endeavors.

"We're always trying to be forward thinking, and that's really the next step for these dashboards," Ragsdale said. "The collaboration space in the TGS room has been really beneficial for the game day experience, but it also helps with things like renewal, ticket pricing and other operations. It's very easy for presentation purposes to have that information up and available for people."

The entire operation is a great example of how different and otherwise mostly unrelated aspects of the Chiefs' business model can work together to achieve their common goal, forming a synergy worthy of a championship organization.

It's the result of years of research and planning all in the name of making the best game day experience in all of sports even better. The best football teams are constantly adapting in order to maintain success on the field, and the Chiefs' business operation is no different.