While Kansas City Chiefs fans get their first glimpse of this year’s team at Missouri Western State University, questions continue to surround the future of their home: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.
Since the Kansas City Royals — the team’s co-tenant at the Truman Sports Complex — are actively discussing plans to relocate to a new downtown stadium, ballpark downtown, the Chiefs are left with a big decision to make regarding their future at the stadium they’ve occupied since 1972.
Speaking after his team’s first full training camp practice on Sunday, Chiefs owner and CEO Clark Hunt expressed optimism that the team could renovate Arrowhead, rather than build a new stadium.
“We do feel optimistic about that,” Hunt told reporters at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph. “We spent a couple [of] years studying the structural integrity of the stadium — and earlier this year, we preliminarily concluded that Arrowhead could be renovated and extend the life for up to another 25 years.”
Hunt’s remarks came after Chiefs president Mark Donovan’s Friday comments, in which he said that the organization was comfortable moving forward with any of three viable options: renovating Arrowhead, building a new stadium on the site of the Royals’ Kauffman Stadium or building a new stadium at a different location.
If a new stadium is built for the Chiefs, Hunt believes a retractable dome could be included.
“One of the benefits of a dome stadium is that you’re weather protected, which does give you the ability to host more events,” Hunt noted. “We’ve seen that whether it’s So-Fi [Stadium or] AT&T Stadium; they host a lot of events.”
Still, Arrowhead’s fierce winter weather conditions are among its most unique characteristics — and a factor in its home-field advantage.
“I would point out that GEHA Field at Arrowhead is hosting a lot of events this summer,” added Hunt. “We’re expecting to have a very busy summer next year, so not having [a] roof doesn’t preclude having many of those events. But certainly, if you had a roof, you could probably do more during the winter.”
That, of course, includes the possibility of hosting a Super Bowl in Kansas City.
While Hunt maintains renovation is his preference, he made it clear that the team will continue to monitor the situation closely.
“All three options are still on the table,” he reiterated. “But we’re working hard behind the scenes to try to get in a position where if the Royals make a decision later this summer — as they’ve said they’re going to do — we’ll be in a position to go with them if they decide to go with the public vote.”