The Kansas City Chiefs and St. Louis Cardinals played the inaugural game at Arrowhead Stadium on August 12, 1972. Since that initial contest, much has changed at the Truman Sports Complex. On April 4, 2006 Jackson County, Missouri taxpayers approved a 3/8 cent sales tax that is expected to raise $212.5 million for the Sports Complex with another $37.5 million coming from the State of Missouri. In addition, the Hunt family contributed $125 million to the $375 million project which officially commenced with a groundbreaking ceremony on August 22, 2007. These improvements will maintain Arrowhead’s longstanding status as one of the nation’s top venues for fans to experience the excitement of collegiate or NFL football.
Fans will be greeted with numerous new areas including the Founder’s Plaza, the Horizon Level, the Chiefs Sports Lab powered by Blue KC, the Chiefs Hall of Honor presented by Time Warner Cable, a Founder’s Club, a luxurious Club Level and a new team store. Other improvements include an upgraded sound and scoreboard system, a 360-degree video ribbon board, concourses that are doubled in size and an upgraded variety of food and beverage options.
While other venues of a similar vintage have long since been termed obsolete, thanks to the foresight and vision of the leadership of Jackson County, the Hunt family, the Chiefs and the taxpayers who made it a reality, Arrowhead has stood the test of time.
At the time of its dedication in ’72, the legendary founder of the Chicago Bears, George Halas called Arrowhead, “the most revolutionary, futuristic, sports complex I have ever seen.” Hal Lebovitz, Sports Editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer added, “It took courage to sell the citizens of Kansas City on the twin park plan. But they bought it because they want the best.”
In the late ’60s, after design and seating capacity concerns caused plans for a single, multi-purpose domed stadium to be scrapped, Kansas City opted to construct two separate stadiums, one for football and one for baseball. Voters approved the Sports Complex bond issue in ’67, which included plans for a revolutionary concept – the world’s first rolling stadium roof. Construction cost overruns and project delays caused by a lengthy strike eventually forced the roof concept to be put on hold, but Arrowhead was completed in time for the ’72 season.
In ’84, the Jackson County Sports Authority again investigated the feasibility of a dome – this time made of fabric – but that concept too was shelved as being unnecessary and financially impractical.
A decade later, in ’94, under Arrowhead’s continued open-air arrangement, a natural playing surface was installed in the facility for the first time, just one of numerous improvements which were made prior to the current renovation. In ’99, all 33,975 seats in the upper level of the stadium were replaced, while all 35,277 lower level seats and all 10,199 club level seats were replaced for the 2000 season.
Undoubtedly one of the finest facilities in the NFL, Arrowhead and the fans who consistently fill it have helped produce a distinct homefield advantage for the Chiefs. Dating back to ’90, Kansas City owns the seventh-best regular season home winning percentage among all NFL teams with a 106-54 (.663) record over that span. It’s been 40 years since the first plans were being devised for Kansas City’s two stadium setup, which is now the norm for professional football and baseball venues across the country.
During the 30th Anniversary season of Arrowhead in 2001, Chiefs Founder Lamar Hunt, expressed the organization’s thanks to Colorado-based architect, the late Charles Deaton, who conceived the two-stadium concept. Hunt praised the governmental bodies who took the initiative, and the workers who built Arrowhead, as well as the support of the Jackson County taxpayers who financed this futuristic venture. Hunt also wished to extend on behalf of the entire the Chiefs organization a hearty salute to all who have unquestionably made Arrowhead Stadium – The Home of the … CHIEFS!