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New stadium features await Cardinals fans

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Arizona Cardinals fans heading to Friday's preseason game against the Oakland Raiders will notice some new things inside University of Phoenix Stadium.

One change is when a coach throws the challenge flag, fans will see what the referee sees.

"One of the additions that the NFL has instituted at stadiums this year is that, when the referee goes 'under the hood' [to watch a replay of a play that is being challenged], that same feed will be up on our video board," said John Drum, Cardinals vice president of operations. "What the referees are seeing, the fans will be able to see inside the stadium."

Drum said the team is looking forward to the addition because fans will no longer have to wait for the call.

"This new addition by the league is something that we welcome," he said. "I think it's something that the fans will also enjoy. There was always kind of that not knowing what was going on, not knowing what the referee was seeing.

"Certainly, the fans saw the play in person when it was happening, but to see the replay close up is really going to be a great addition to the game day experience at University of Phoenix Stadium."

Drum said the Cardinals have added message boards in the corners of the stadium that will give the fans more information.

"Scores from around the league," he said. "When we get to the regular season, it will have the all-important fantasy football stats to find out how teams are doing."

One thing that won't be new Friday is a sellout crowd, No. 64. "That's a tremendous show of support in the Valley," Drum said. The team has sold each every home game since its debut in the stadium.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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