On The Ground: U.S. leagues could learn from the ease of the Games

A strange thing happened during the London 2012 opening ceremony. About 30 minutes into the production, I posted a photo on Facebook with my iPhone. A few minutes later, I updated my Twitter account without the need for WiFi. During the parade of nations, I Skyped with my kids via my Mac.

With more than 80,000 fans crammed into Olympic Stadium, the Brits figured out how to provide enough cell coverage to allow me to use my iPhone the way it was intended. I can't send an email during early season Wizards games with 10,000 disinterested fans in D.C.'s Verizon Center. But the opening ceremony was no problem.

Forget about Kenneth Branagh or Mr. Bean, to me the biggest surprise of the opening ceremony was how easy everything was. This has to be the smoothest big event I've ever attended.

It wasn't just the mobile coverage. Security was no problem, either.

Being able to Skype with my kids from the opening ceremony was amazing.
I realize that as a member of the press, I get certain advantages when it comes to security lines. But the process on Friday couldn't have been smoother, especially when compared to big events in the United States like the Super Bowl. I ran my backpack and sportcoat through an X-ray machine and walked through a metal detector. And that was it. Nobody frisked me. Nobody rifled through my bag. It was quick and painless.

And it wasn't just the press. My colleague Tripp Mickle and I talked to a small sampling of the general public inside the stadium, and they all said the process for them was smooth and queues were short. This is especially surprising given the number of heads of state who attended, including Queen Elizabeth.

U.S. leagues could learn something from this process. Going to a sports event doesn't have to be a headache.

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