Arrowhead Stadium

Capacity70 000
Country United States of America
CityKansas City
ClubsKansas City Chiefs
CategoryDesign awaiting implementation
Cost$800 M
Construction2027–2030/31
Design Populous

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Arrowhead Stadium – design description

How does Arrowhead Stadium present itself?

Arrowhead Stadium was opened in 1972 and today is one of the oldest stadiums in the NFL. The facility was built in the eastern suburbs of Kansas City, along with baseball's Kauffman Stadium (opened a year later), which is home to the Kansas City Royals, a team that plays in the MLB. The two stadiums are located close to each other, together forming the Truman Sports Complex.

Arrowhead Stadium is a soccer facility that has served the NFL team, Kansas City Chiefs, since its inception. The stadium has a distinctive shape, with semicircular cutouts in the stands located behind the endzones, and has a capacity of more than 70,000 spectators. In June 2022, the venue was announced as one of the hosts of the 2026 World Cup.

The initial idea was to create a roof that could be moved over Arrowhead Stadium or Kauffman Stadium, but the idea was eventually abandoned due to high costs. The roof subject returned in 2006, but again the plans did not come to fruition and the stadium remains an open-air facility.

The stadium has so far undergone its biggest renovation between 2007 and 2010, when modern club facilities were built as additions to both stands along the touchlines. However, the look and character of the facility remains largely unchanged since its opening. Since 2021, the stadium's title sponsor has been GEHA, a medical insurance company.

Who are the Kansas City Chiefs?

The Kansas City Chiefs were founded in 1959 in Dallas (as the Dallas Texans) and were one of the founding members of the AFL. In 1963, the team was relocated to Kansas City and adopted its current name. The team won the Super Bowl four times, three of which were quite recently (in the 1969, 2019, 2022 and 2023 seasons).

What do the Kansas City Royals' plans have in common with the renovation of Arrowhead Stadium?

In 2022, news broke of the Kansas City Royals' plans to build a new baseball stadium in a different location. On February 13, 2024, the first renderings of the new 34,000-seat facility, to be built in the Crossroads, downtown Kansas City, were made public. Once the new venue opens, Kauffman Stadium is to be demolished, freeing up additional space around Arrowhead Stadium.

When were plans to renovate Arrowhead Stadium unveiled?

On February 28, 2024, a press conference was held in the Chiefs Hall of Honor at Arrowhead Stadium with Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt and team president Mark Donovan to unveil plans for the next major renovation of the facility.

The concept is the result of more than two years of collaboration with global sports architecture giant, Kansas City-based Populous. The project is in an evolving stage and may yet undergo changes.

What does the Arrowhead Stadium renovation plans include?

The Arrowhead Stadium renovation project includes a number of improvements designed to modernize the venue, enhance the game experience and meet the ever-increasing standards in the NFL. This will be the second major upgrade in the facility's history (following work carried out between 2007 and 2010), after which it will still largely retain its current form and character, however.

With the upgrade, the stadium is expected to serve the Chiefs for decades to come, without the need to build a new facility or even relocate to another city. The scope of the renovation is large, although it does not include any revolutionary solutions, such as the roofing of the facility, which has been considered in the past.

The exact capacity of the stadium after the renovation is not yet known, but it is not expected to change much and will still exceed 70,000 spectators.

What are the Arrowhead Stadium renovation plans in detail?

How will Arrowhead Stadium change after the upgrade?

Work at the stadium will include the construction of a new bridge connecting the upper concourse that is to circle the facility around. Along the sidelines, this corridor is to be further covered and equipped with heating. New concession stands, retail spaces and restrooms will be built throughout the stadium.

One of the most visible changes will be the replacement of the video screens. The new ones will be much larger than the existing ones (the eastern video screen will be four times larger, while the western one will triple in size), but they will retain their characteristic shape designed to resemble footballs. Improvements at the stadium will also include Wi-Fi, DAS (distributed antenna system) and audio technology while LED bands will be installed at the edges of the stands.

Opposing teams will receive a separate tunnel leading to new visitors' locker rooms. The new rooms and tunnel will also improve the organization of other events at the stadium.

New clubs and suites will be built in the stadium, and existing ones will be renovated. In addition, separate VIP entrances to the stadium will be created.

How will the surroundings of Arrowhead Stadium change after the upgrade?

One of the goals of the project is to enlarge the parking lots around the stadium, as well as rearrange them to improve traffic flow and tailgating experience. A special Rideshare Zone will also be created. Movement and safety around the stadium will be improved by three new pedestrian bridges as well.

Since the Royals are planning to move to downtown Kansas City and Kauffman Stadium is to be demolished as a result, a turf-covered Activation Zone with tailgate areas and covered entertainment space is planned in its place.

When is the renovation of Arrowhead Stadium planned?

Modernization of Arrowhead Stadium is planned to begin in 2027, and is expected to be completed in 2030 or 2031. The work is to be carried out during the off-season so as not to interfere with NFL games. The project is to be carried out in accordance with the ideas of sustainable development.

Are additional upgrades planned for Arrowhead Stadium before the 2026 World Cup?

Before the plans announced on February 28, 2024 come to fruition, Arrowhead Stadium is scheduled to undergo one more minor upgrade to prepare it for hosting soccer games at the 2026 World Cup.

How much will the Arrowhead Stadium renovation cost?

The assumed cost of upgrading Arrowhead Stadium is $800 million. $300 million and any excess costs are going to be covered by the Chiefs' owners, the Hunt family. The missing $500 million the Chiefs would like to obtain from the state of Missouri.

Will Arrowhead Stadium be upgraded?

On April 2, 2024, a local referendum was held in which voters decided whether to extend Jackson County's funding for 40 years for the maintenance of Chiefs and Royals facilities by allocating ⅜% of the sales tax. However, the result of the referendum was unfavorable for the Chiefs and Royals, with 42% of voters in favor of extending public funding and 58% against.

The negative vote casts doubt on the project's future, although the current lease doesn't expire until 2031 (until then, the county will also continue to allocate funds for maintenance), so there's still plenty of time to discuss and consider various options.

Will the Kansas City Chiefs move to a neighboring state?

One possible option for the Chiefs is to move to the western part of the Kansas City metropolitan area, to land already located in the neighboring state of Kansas, where a Kansas Sales Tax and Revenue (STAR) bond is available.

In late April, the Kansas legislature even debated possible changes to the law that would make the bonds even more attractive to professional sports teams looking to build large venues.

On April 30, 2024, renderings of a future Kansas City Chiefs stadium that could stand in the western suburbs of Kansas City, near Kansas Speedway, were published. The concept was created by renowned studio Manica Architecture in cooperation with developer Robb Heineman.

The concept was released even before consultations were held with key stakeholders: the Chiefs and the owners of the land where the new stadium would be built. The concept is therefore in a very preliminary stage and should only be regarded as a proposal in the debate over the Chiefs' future.

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Renderings

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