After more than a decade of negotiations, Chiefs close in on sale of Arrowhead field.
Early on Thursday, the Kansas City Chiefs were reportedly closing in on a deal to sell the naming rights to the playing field at Arrowhead Stadium after more than a decade on the market, according to Terry Lefton, a reporter for the Sports Business Journal. By day’s end, the Chiefs had released a statement denying any such deal.
Team president Mark Donovan has consistently said over the last decade that they are open to selling the naming rights to the playing surface, without changing the name of the stadium itself.
Lefton indicated that the sale is close to completion and will be between the Chiefs and the Government Employees Health Association. The GEHA covers insurance for more than two million government employees across the country. According to their website:
"GEHA (Government Employees Health Association, Inc.) is a not-for-profit provider of medical and dental plans for federal employees. For more than 83 years, GEHA has been dedicated to providing products and services that help our members protect their families and access quality, affordable health care."
The move would make a lot of sense for myriad reasons. First, the Chiefs would find a way to boost revenue in a year when COVID is likely to significantly decrease in-stadium revenue. The increased television audience also makes the deal better for GEHA.
In addition, GEHA already has established ties to the Kansas City community and to the organization. Not only are the corporate headquarters for the company located just a few miles from Arrowhead Stadium, but the major insurance company also has an exclusive rights partnership with the organization, and last year signed Patrick Mahomes as a company spokesman.
However, the Chiefs released a statement on the issue, indicating that there will not be an agreement in place for the 2020 season.
At least for now, team owner Clark Hunt has been clear that he has no intention of selling the naming rights to the stadium, but the team has been interested in such a deal for the last decade. Presumptively, however, a deal for the naming rights at Arrowhead is inevitable, even if not this year.
At the moment, the plan is for the official title to be “GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.” One can suspect Chiefs Kingdom will just keep referring to it as Arrowhead.