Will first-down line arrive at an NFL stadium near you?


Even if it's "not official," the yellow first-down line was a master stroke in the advancement of NFL television broadcasts.

The imaginary line gave fans at home a clear view of how far offenses needed to go to move the chains. Could fans in NFL stadiums eventually receive the same helpful tool?

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It's not imminent, but it is possible. Alan Amron, with the financial backing of former player and sportscaster Pat Summerall, has developed the First Down Laser System. Amron said the system projects a first-down line across the field that can be seen in the stadium and on TV.

Amron met with the NFL in 2003 and again in 2009 to discuss to possibility of implementing the technology.

"They give me different opinions and suggestions along the way," Amron said, according to The Associated Press. "We comply with them and come back. They tell me it took them years and years to implement replay and the overhead cam. The NFL right now has made it very clear to us that they didn't want to eliminate the chains, but augmenting them wouldn't be a bad idea."

Said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello: "We have not been convinced that it would work for us, but we are open to further discussion after the season."

If the technology was sound, there's no doubt this would enhance the fan experience at NFL stadiums. That's important at a time when the league has legitimate concerns about selling tickets in the HDTV era.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.