The College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta is an amazing sports museum and is offering free entry presented by Chick-fil-A and Coca-Cola for the month of August as they celebrate their birthday. I took advantage of the opportunity this past Sunday accompanied by my 6-year old son and his two-year old brother. Yes, the facility has amazing, immersive sports tech but they also have a Kulture City (KC) sensory certification, the first business in the city to do so making it a real win-win. I went to the official CFB Hall of Fame grand opening in 2014 as a blogger, and then returned with my boy at another date to learn more about the special needs, inclusion program because Kellan is on the autism spectrum. I’ve become an advocate, business expert and social influencer curating THE Sports Techie community blog for nearly ten years making this story one that truly warms my heart because not only does it affect Kellan but it helps those in need, both kids and adults alike. You see, with all the advanced sports technology at this cutting-edge venue, the one thing they did not have was a low tech manual flushing toilet. All the toilets are automatic; you know the kind with the cyclops eye. Kellan sees one of the toilets with no flush handle with the sensor eye staring him down, and he instantly walks out of the restroom, no matter how bad he has to go. This is a real fear and major problem to deal with for us and others with the same problem. The @CFBHall and KC management teams saw this pain point as we went through our sensory-driven tour and spoke to me about it. Turns out KC has certificated hundreds of facilities as sensory friendly but had not experienced this problem in person before Kellan and me. The Hall and KC went into action replacing the automatic flushing toilet in the first floor’s family bathroom with a manual one, as well as the sink too. Words cannot express my gratitude for the support, and free tickets.
Revisit the Family Restroom and more
When we arrived, I scanned my Chick-fil-A app to gain our complimentary entry. I asked the ticket booth person about the KC sensory bag and was pointed to the manager standing outside in the line assisting fans find their way inside. He asked one of his employees to walk us in to the customer service window. I gave up my driver’s license and got back the bag loaded with a pair of noise-cancelling headphones and gadgets for fidgeting. Part of the certification process involves employee training. The care we experienced was awesome.
Kellan instantly went for the elevators because he loves them but I stopped him so we could find the restroom with the manual flushing toilet since he had to go after our car ride down and walk to the building in the heat since we parked on the other side of the Georgia Aquarium.
Along came a young lady dressed in a uniform and I asked her if she knew where this particular restroom was located. Her name was Kayla Pritchett and she is the new Fan Experience Coordinator at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame going on two weeks now. She had not heard about this restroom before and asked a colleague about it who also had no clue. I filled her in about Kellan and how the Hall had put the manual flusher in after our last visit.
Together we walked around the corner to the nearest family restroom on the first floor and lo and behold, there was an old-fashion handle with no digital eye! Kellan and his bro, Jake, both gave Kayla a high-five then she excused herself so we could use the no-frills toilet in peace. Kellan and I both appreciated using the manual sink too but he did pause for about one second using the automatic paper towel dispenser but that went away quickly as he likes to rip the paper off so it automatically replaces the feed with more paper. He would do this over and over again if I didn’t transition him to something else.
When we finished up Kayla was waiting outside and said she wanted to get the restroom named on Kellan’s behalf. Wow, was I floored by the idea! Well CFBHall, for the record, his name is Kellan Roble. If it happens, we would be thrilled, if not, se la vie. The most precious fact is there is now a manual flushing toilet for all to use.
Sports Tech Fan Experience Fun
I registered each All-Access Pass at the registration station in The Quad with our favorite teams. I picked Michigan State since my Dad went there and I was born a Spartans fan in East Lansing. We picked Georgia Tech for Kellan since I dream of him going there to earn a engineering degree in technology. For Jake, the choice was easy, I selected the local university his Mom graduated from, Georgia. There was no Whittier College selection yet, my alma mater.
The RFID chips in the Passes started our personalized fan experience by identifying our college choices then lit up the Helmet Wall Connected By Southwest Airlines, accordingly.
On the second floor was my perhaps favorite sports tech, the Media Wall. The 52-foot long multi-user video board is high-tech, personalized and full of college football’s rich history.
We next popped into the Game Day Theater for my first time and watched the 10 minute, 4K live game film titled, “The Game Of Your Life” complete with voice-overs by legendary coaches and players.
ESPN College GameDay Desk
The ESPN College GameDay Desk built by Home Depot is interactive and a very popular exhibit. We skipped the line but you can see the clip below from our last visit when broadcaster Kellan was shy but his Daddy was not.
Around the corner, there was the ESPN Theater featuring the AT&T Call The Play, the AT&T Virtual (Reality) Room powered by Samsung, and more.
The third floor features individual kiosks and a large ribbon board. Here the Hall of Fame introduced by the National Football Foundation delivers an interactive monument to the game’s best. The Chic-fil-A Building Leaders exhibit showcases some of the greatest coaches and players.
Sports Techie, college football begins play this Saturday down in Orlando with the Florida and Miami matchup. If I wasn’t excited for the 2019 season before visiting the CFB Hall, I sure am now!
You can too for the rest of August during #freemonth.
Sports tech was the catalyst to making this all happen.
Thank you to the College Football Hall of Fame, Kulture City and you the sports techie fan, without all three, there might not be a manual flushing toilet at this cutting edge sport museum. On the way out when I got my ID back in exchange for the KC sensory bag, this nice lady gave Kellan and Jake stickers.
Kellan you inspire me daily as I hope I do for our global community.
Down, set, virtual hike!
See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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