From Football Field to Farm Field

October 24, 2023

A guest blog from FarmAssist AV programmer Jesse Richmond

Working in an NFL stadium was a lot like playing the game itself, a journey filled with unity, moments of excitement, and challenges to overcome.

Being a part of something that’s capable of bringing together 70,000 people, for a brief moment, was truly remarkable and humbling. Regardless of the trauma or heartbreak people were facing in their daily lives, these moments had a remarkable ability to soften the sharp edges, offering respite, even if just for a couple of hours.

While these moments didn’t necessarily simplify my job, they emphasized that I played a pivotal role in something truly exceptional.

Whether I was fulfilling wishes for our community, supporting musical artists, engaging in special events or immersing myself in the electrifying atmosphere of the NFL, I consistently felt the surge of adrenaline. The experiences also provided profound insights into the inner workings of the stadium, from the concealed behind-the-scenes operations to the intricate aspects of departmental management. These invaluable lessons are etched into my memory, a testament to the extraordinary experience of being a part of something greater than oneself.

One of the most treasured moments on this journey was the opportunity to bring my dad, a man who cried the first time he walked into Joe Robbie stadium, back to Miami for the Super Bowl. This memory will forever hold a special place in both our hearts. To put it into perspective, this event has been attended by fewer than 2 percent of people born in the U.S. since its inception in 1967 and is renowned as one of the most beloved and highly regarded gatherings in history. Bigger than Taylor Swift!

Nevertheless, every path comes with its obstacles to surmount. Some challenges I encountered were the demanding hours and the scarcity of opportunities for substantial career progressions and as I advanced in my managerial position, it pulled me further from the equipment, intensifying my desire for more hands-on involvement.

About two years ago now, I sat down for lunch with John Hood, where an exciting opportunity unfolded before me. To my surprise, I learned that he had transitioned from being a simple manufacturer representative to launching a services department. When he extended a job offer, I couldn’t yet comprehend the extraordinary journey that awaited. This path would immerse me in full-time Q-SYS programming, a facet of my stadium work that I deeply cherished.

In the end, my NFL stadium adventure was like a thrilling rollercoaster ride, filled with personal growth, challenges, and cherished memories that will always be close to my heart. I eagerly approach each day’s work with a joyful sprint, invigorated by the incredible journey I’ve undertaken.

-Jesse Richmond has been on the FarmAssist team at The Farm since March of 2022. Prior to joining The Farm, Jesse ran AV for Levi’s Stadium – home of the San Francisco 49ers, for almost six years. He’s also the nicest person you’ll ever meet (besides Joel Hall of Leon Speakers).