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Will the new Arrowhead Have a Roof?

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Wednesday morning, Kansas City Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt and President Mark Donovan will show renderings of their vision for an enhanced football facility. Will it be a new stadium or a renovated GEHA Field at Arrowhead, and will both options include a roof component?

After the Kansas City Royals announced their new downtown baseball stadium location last week, many wondered when the Kansas City Chiefs would show their vision for GEHA Field at Arrowhead. Well, that time is now.

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The Chiefs will hold a press conference on Wednesday morning to show renderings of the House Patrick Mahomes built. I jest, of course, but plans for a new Arrowhead experience have been in the works for about a year.  The Chiefs wanted to get the renderings out to the public so Jackson County Taxpayers could see what they envision as their new home before the stadium tax vote on April 2nd.

Both the Chiefs and Royals are hopeful the stadium tax passes, but there is some sentiment against the tax among stubborn leaders and those who need more vision to get the vote across the finish line successfully.

With all projects of this magnitude, it takes franchise owners and county and state assistance to cover the costs for their respective cathedrals. In the case of the Royals, they are putting up $1 Billion in private funding. The Chiefs have not indicated what they’ll do in that regard.

However, it should be noted that Clark Hunt and his family invested over $500 million when Arrowhead was renovated years ago. Despite winning three of the last five Super Bowls, I fully expect their investment will be more.

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The Chiefs are in a unique situation, with the Royals leaving the Truman Sports Complex in 2027. They can do almost anything regarding renovating Arrowhead or starting construction on a new Arrowhead next door. If they went that route, they could break ground before the Royals officially move downtown in 2028.

Further, if a new stadium is constructed now, they’d have more prime Mahomes years to justify the massive expenditure for their franchise and the Chiefs Kingdom.

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Yet my main sticking point centers on the team’s willingness to add a retracted roof or something that resembles the Frankfurt stadium that acts as a cover but does not keep all the cold elements out of the stadium. In doing so, Kansas City would likely get a Super Bowl and a Final Four. The goal is to expand dates at Arrowhead year-round to their credit. With a roof, that only increases their chances to land stadium concerts outside of Summer and Fall. It’s safe to say a roof makes a lot of sense financially.

Still, there are downsides ahead for the Chiefs if they renovate Arrowhead. They are committed to hosting six games for the World Cup in 2026, where they must eliminate permanent seats in the lower bowl to accommodate FIFA’s requirements for hosting games. In essence, rows of seats will be removed and replaced with retractable seating.

Though the Chiefs are not paying for that cost, roughly $50 million, what does that do to the foundation and infrastructure of Arrowhead?  Remember, it’s the oldest stadium in the NFL, and it’s an architectural marvel to have lasted this long, but how much stress can she hold?

Clark Hunt states that the Chiefs prefer the elements come playoff time. During a pre-season game over the summer, Mark Donovan said drawings exist for a roof structure.

So, which is it?

I love the old building, but if they don’t start construction until after the World Cup, or worse when the Royals finish the 2027 season, it will be 2031 before the new Stadium hosts Chiefs fans.

In the end, Clark Hunt made the final decision, and on Wednesday, we’ll see his vision for the future home of the Four-Time Super Bowl Champions!

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