KC Chiefs propose exciting changes to Arrowhead Stadium

Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt and team President Mark Donovan released the renderings of the new Arrowhead Stadium renovations today. From video boards, to tailgating, to tax ramifications, here's everything you need to know.

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Miami Dolphins v Kansas City Chiefs
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Miami Dolphins v Kansas City Chiefs / Kara Durrette/GettyImages

On the same day that Kansas City Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt was given an F- in the “Ownership” category on the second annual NFLPA Team Report Cards, Hunt and team president Mark Donovan released the initial renderings of "Arrowhead Reimagined"—renderings of proposed improvements to Arrowhead Stadium.

It was especially ironic timing as Matt Derrick of Chiefs Digest reported that the only measure of the ownership category was ownership's willingness to invest in team facilities. Well, the Chiefs are doing just that. If the vote is yes on April 2nd, Jackson County taxpayers will be fitting the bill for $500 million while the Hunt family has vowed to invest $300 million of private money into upgrades for Arrowhead Stadium and the surrounding area.

From video boards to tailgating to tax ramifications, here's everything you need to know about the proposed Arrowhead upgrades.

The theme of the press conference releasing the renderings was keeping the “Spirit of Arrowhead” and the renderings show just that. Donovan mentioned that these are the initial concepts, not the final product, but you can see the reveal yourself in the X post below. I highly encourage you to watch the video in the link. You get a better idea of what the Hunt family and Donovan are trying to accomplish by watching it, rather than just looking at the pictures. 

Here is a detailed list of the concept details.

  • New turf-covered tailgate area with a covered entertainment space
  • The Upper Concourse will now have a Connection Bridge to wrap around the entire stadium
  • The upper Concourse will have a canopy for weather protection
  • New VIP entry points into the stadium
  • New Sideline Level Clubs
  • New, bigger Video boards while keeping its iconic shape
  • Upgraded TV, Wi-Fi, DAS (distributed antenna system) and Audio System Technology
  • New End Zone Clubs and Suites
  • New Concession Stands, Retail Spaces and Restrooms
  • New Field Access Tunnel for visiting teams
  • Suite and Club Lounge renovations
  • Concessions Stands will converted to Grab-n-Go Markets
  • Three new Pedestrian Bridges added that rise over vehicular traffic
  • Dedicated Rideshare Zone
  • New Parking Deck on the South side, Expanded Parking on the Kauffman site and Reoriented Parking lots to improve pedestrian flow and tailgating
  • RV Parking will be expanded 

 The Chiefs have a landing page for it with more information on their website as well. 

My general feeling is that unless you were expecting a roof over Arrowhead Stadium, there is no real reason to not feel excited about the renovation concept. As a Season Ticket Holder myself, I wanted the team to uphold the Arrowhead mystique, keep our playoff home-field advantage secure, and make the best tailgate in America even greater. 

If it is done as it is in the renderings, the new turf-covered “Activation Zone” will be a great place to gather before games and concerts held at Arrowhead. This area and thousands of new parking spots are what is being put in place over the old Kauffman site. Personal tailgates should hypothetically have much more space to work with in general, too. 

Updating technology, including a bigger and better video board that is more in line with the newer stadiums was a huge win as well. There will also be a new LED Ribbon Board running across the upper deck, which should be a cool look. A sleek, updated look to all the concourses and other new and old areas is a nice touch as well. 

As a fan, what is perhaps most exciting is more parking with an improved pedestrian and vehicular flow and experience. The new bridges that flow above some parking areas should create more room for vehicles to move and more room for pedestrians to get in and out of the game. Getting in and out of Arrowhead is a nightmare, especially with all of the prime-time games that are happening nowadays. The new ride-share area will be nice for people who want an easy way in and out of the stadium without paying $50 for parking or risking drinking and driving. 

My seats are in the upper bowl and having a 360-degree wrap-around the stadium will be extremely convenient as well. Currently, you can only get to your seats based on what spiral ramp you walk up. A quicker concession experience will be clutch, especially when you are waiting to get food and beverages worried you might miss the iconic flyovers for the national anthem.

The more upscale experiences are getting bigger and grander with the new field-level suites and an update to the current suites. They are also considering a new lower-level club that will need to be excavated under the lowest level to create a “premium” experience. Updates to Wi-Fi, TV, and audio are always a major plus, too. Getting cellular service at the game is always a struggle and experiencing the game when you are waiting at the concessions or in the restrooms has always been borderline non-existent. 

One area that Hunt was asked about, due to the NFLPA Report Card, was the Chiefs'' practice facility. Hunt recognizes they are behind the times and said it is a major priority. The Report Card said the Chiefs had one of the worst locker rooms in the league, among other things, but these types of updates were not involved in the renderings. It is safe to say, that the players on the team want change in this area after the Chiefs have received rough reviews with these types of things for two years in a row. 

Arrowhead has been a second home for the Hunt Family for 52 years, and it was important to them that they keep the history intact. He said the filter of their process had all to do with fan experience, improvement of traffic, the flow in the concourses and restrooms, grander stadium video boards, and of course, continuing to improve the tailgating experience. 

When you look at what they are trying to accomplish in combination with the winning product they have put on the field, it is not hard to get behind it. I think the Chiefs' biggest battle will be going into this vote with the Kansas City Royals as their partners. It is tough to say where Jackson County citizens as a whole feel about the Royals asking for a new stadium with the product they have put on the field the past several years and the businesses impacted by the new build. 

The Chiefs will need people to buy into the Royals moving out of Kauffman in order to accomplish what they want to in these Arrowhead renderings. It is assumed that the Royals project is the one that most of the taxpayer dollars would be going towards. It is unknown what the ramifications will be for the Chiefs if the people vote no on April 2nd. One of the Chiefs' selling points is that there is no new tax but simply an extension of the existing 3/8 cent tax that is already in place and will now be in place through 2064. 

In a little over a month, we will find out if this will soon be a reality for Chiefs Kingdom, or whether it will further cloud the future of GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, the home of four Lombardi Trophies.