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NFL calls first experience with fans at the Combine a success


A group of fans watch during the NFL football scouting combine for the first time as quarterbacks, wide receiver and running backs work out in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


For the first time this year, fans were allowed inside Lucas Oil Stadium to watch Scouting Combine drills live and in person. Judging by the league’s reaction, it sounds like it won’t be the last time.

Ray Anderson, the NFL’s V.P. of football operations, told he thought it turned out to be a big success: The fans enjoyed themselves, and they also followed the rules so that their presence wasn’t a distraction to the players, scouts, coaches and team executives on hand.

The folks followed the instructions, they were respectful,” Anderson said. “They understood this was a work environment and that these young men were going through the interviews of their lives, so we asked them to adhere to a library etiquette and to help us out so we can take this back and really vet it and see if it’s something we should do on a larger and more permanent basis. And you know what, they’ve given us a good case to make.”

Fans were asked not to cheer, boo or make any noise at all, and they complied. After Super Bowl Media Day, this is the second time in the last four weeks that the NFL has allowed fans into an event that was previously only open to the people who work in or around the NFL, and it appears to be the second time that it worked out well. Expect more fans to be allowed to see the process in person in the future.