Chiefs make final preparations for home opener

The Chiefs' Opening Day is less than a week away and their front office is in a frenzy to make the final preparations.

Assistant general manager Jason Horbal makes calls to secure housing for players. In-game entertainment is busy creating dozens of new scoreboard videos. Sales hustles to cover the outfield walls and stadium with brand new signage, three times the amount sold last year. And the grounds crew continues to chip away at the blanket of snow and ice that winter has left on the field and in the stands of NBT Bank Stadium.

And everyone is working overtime.

"It's all hands on deck," said new general manager Jason Smorol. "Saturday, Sunday, we've only got five more days until opening day so tomorrow we're bringing our shovels in and we're going to shovel some snow and ice."

Smorol, along with virtually every member of the Chiefs' front office, was brought in last October as part of a decision to restructure the direction of a franchise for the first time in its 40-year history.

Smorol and his crew hope to redefine the gameday experience for fans in Syracuse.

Ticket prices have been slashed, promotional giveaways increased and theme nights added to the entire 72-game home schedule.

A recurring theme has been created for every night of the week. Beers and hotdogs are just a dollar on $1 Thursdays, kids 12 and under get in free on Family Sundays and every Friday will feature postgame fireworks. The staff has also created several theme nights to encourage fan participation: from Star Wars, Ugly Sweaters and Super Heroes to the more daring like "Tattoo Night" where fans can pick up some new ink during a game and any fan willing to get a Chiefs logo tattooed on their body will receive season tickets for life.

A full promotional schedule can be found here.

As director of multimedia production Anthony Cianchetta explains, the front office can't control the results on the field. But they plan to do everything they can to give fans a positive in-game experience.

"We want to give them something new, something exciting and really just blow their socks off from day one."

The Chiefs will open the season on Thursday, April 3, at 2 p.m. against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.