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Design & Development

Kansas City Chiefs to consider stadium move

Featured image credit: Kj1595/CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED/Edited for size

Clark Hunt, chairman and chief executive of the Kansas City Chiefs, has said that it “may make more sense” for the NFL team to move to a new stadium after Jackson County residents recently voted down a sales tax measure that would have helped to fund renovations of Arrowhead Stadium.

The sales tax measure would have also aided the development of a new downtown stadium for Major League Baseball team the Kansas City Royals, but more than 58% of voters rejected the plan earlier this month.

The rejection of the plan marked a blow for the Chiefs, who in February unveiled initial concepts for a “complete reimagination and renovation” of Arrowhead Stadium as part of a project reportedly worth $800m (£639m/€747m).

The Chiefs’ lease deal to play at Arrowhead Stadium expires in 2031. The team had previously been weighing up the possibility of building a new stadium before committing to a major renovation of Arrowhead Stadium.

However, Hunt has now admitted that the team may be forced to look at building a new stadium following the rejection of the sales tax measure.

“We will approach it from a broader perspective going forward because time is short for us at this point and so we need to see what other options are out there for us,” Hunt said, according to ESPN. “When we started on this process three years ago, it felt like we had a very long time, a long runway with about nine and a half [years] left on our lease. We’re now down to six and a half and so I do feel very much of a sense of urgency.

“Arrowhead is a special place for our family and our fan base. That was one of the reasons that we focused on it with the last effort, but going forward it may make more sense for us to be in a new stadium.”

Hunt also said the Chiefs would work independently from the Royals on their respective stadium plans moving forward. The Royals in February unveiled plans for a new ballpark and entertainment district in the Crossroads area of the city.

The Chiefs’ plans for a renovation of Arrowhead Stadium included a new turf-covered activation zone with tailgate areas and covered entertainment space built over the current site of Kauffman Stadium, home of the Royals.

Arrowhead Stadium will be one of the host venues during the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which the US will stage with Canada and Mexico. It will host six matches during the tournament, including a quarter-final.