Innovative Ideas

Innovative Ideas

Welcome to Innovations Ideas, where members of the NFL's Operations team will share updates on the latest innovative efforts around the league.

Designing the Sideline of the Future

August 25, 2022

Each NFL game requires collaboration between league staff and a variety of contractors, as well as a significant amount of integrated technology. NFL Football Operations is constantly exploring ways to make the collaboration and technology more efficient while staying true to the spirit and tradition of the game for the players, coaches and fans.

See which personnel works on the NFL sideline during each game

Ahead of the 2014 NFL season, the league provided all 32 teams with sideline access to specially configured Microsoft Surface tablets to review plays, adjust play-calling, instruct players and more. Eight years later, the league and the Future of Football Committee are continuing to streamline what goes on outside the lines to create the Sideline of the Future. These steps include:

  • Managing the impact that weather conditions have on the teams and sideline equipment. While weather will always be part of the game, the committee is exploring options such as creating shade and shelter for players and ways to lessen the weather’s impact on technology.
  • Improving access to necessary facilities during the game. Providing players and staff access to locker room facilities for training supplies or bathroom breaks will save trips to the locker room making it easier to remain available when needed.
  • Streamlining the credentialing and permissions process for sideline personnel. Technology can optimize how Football Operations can grant access to the many people who are critical to producing a game.

These challenges demand innovative thinking and the Football Operations department is committed to creating the Sideline of the Future. Check back for updates on these changes in the coming months.