The Kansas City Chiefs have been at Arrowhead Stadium in the Truman Sports Complex since 1972 after moving from Municipal Stadium.
Arrowhead has undergone numerous renovations and remains one of the NFL’s premier stadiums, but with their lease at the Truman Sports Complex set to expire in 2031, the Chiefs are exploring a lot of different options. That includes options that would have the team no longer playing in the state of Missouri and moving across the border to Kansas.
At the NFL’s owners’ meetings in Palm Beach, Florida, The Ringer’s Kevin Clark asked Donovan about potential new stadium options. Donovan said that the team has been pitched by developers in the state of Kansas. It could end up becoming a legitimate option for the team, despite their commitment to tradition and Lamar Hunt’s legacy.
Chiefs prez Mark Donovan, when asked this AM about potential new stadium options, said the team has considered options in state of Kansas. They like Arrowhead and legacy of Lamar Hunt’s stadium, but have been pitched by Kansas developers on a bunch of options. Something to watch.
— Kevin Clark (@bykevinclark) March 29, 2022
Kansas City mayor Quinton Lucas responded on Twitter shortly after this news broke.
“Kansas City has proudly hosted the Chiefs since the early 1960s. We look forward to working with the Chiefs, our state of Missouri partners, and local officials to ensure the Chiefs remain home in Kansas City and Missouri for generations to come.”
Kansas City has proudly hosted the Chiefs since the early 1960s. We look forward to working with the Chiefs, our state of Missouri partners, and local officials to ensure the Chiefs remain home in Kansas City and Missouri for generations to come. https://t.co/h9XBn7L0VC
— Mayor Q (@QuintonLucasKC) March 29, 2022
When the Kansas City Royals announced in September their plans to explore a downtown stadium, many wondered what type of impact it’d have on the Chiefs, who are neighbors to the Royals at the Truman Sports complex. Chiefs CEO and Chairman Clark Hunt commented on it back in November:
“John Sherman was thoughtful enough to give us a heads up that they were going to make that announcement and that it was something that they’re considering,” Hunt said. “Obviously, we’ve been connected to the Royals for almost 50 years now, here at the sports complex, and so their decision on their long-term future will have an impact on us. We’re going to watch as they go through the process and at some point in the next year or so start thinking about what’s next for the Chiefs from a stadium standpoint.”
While Hunt felt that Arrowhead Stadium was still among the finest in NFL, he spoke about what might go into consideration when their lease ends.
“We think that GEHA Field at Arrowhead is still one of the finest stadiums in the National Football League,” Hunt continued. “And the renovation that we completed about 11 or 12 years ago really brought the stadium into— back into the top tier in the National Football League. Obviously, things change and the way fans want to consume the game and the kind of spaces that you need those things change over time and we’re paying attention to that. We’ve had beautiful stadiums open now in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. There will be things, when we get to the end of our lease here in nine or so years, I’m sure, that we’ll want to incorporate into the stadium. One possibility will be another renovation of Arrowhead.”
Hunt suggested that a renovation might include ways to better incorporate the space vacated by the Royals if they move to a downtown stadium.
“One of the great things about the Sports Complex is how big it is,” Hunt said. “That’s created the opportunity for our fans to have the tremendous tailgate experience that they have before the game each week. We’re fortunate to have that kind of built-in experience already. Obviously, if the Royals weren’t playing at the Sports Complex, it would open up more space to allow us to do some different programming that we haven’t done in the past.”
These are future issues that won’t come to a head for a long time, but it seems the Chiefs are at least considering leaving their home of the last 50 years. It could come down to things like tax money and the development of the area surrounding the Truman Sports Complex, but Arrowhead will remain home of the Chiefs for at least the next 9 years.