Arrowhead Stadium – Kansas City Chiefs
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Arrowhead Stadium opened in 1972, replacing a dated Municipal Stadium as the home of the National Football League (NFL) Kansas City Chiefs. As part of the Truman Sports Complex, Arrowhead Stadium shares the grounds with Kauffman Stadium, the home of the 2015 World Series Champion Kansas City Royals. The Chiefs were victorious in their first game in Arrowhead, defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 24-14 on August 12, 1972.
Throughout the years since opening, Arrowhead has continued to make necessary adjustments and upgrades to keep up with technology and make the fan experience a good one. In 1991, the famous football-shaped screens were installed at the top of the stadium behind each end zone. In 2009, the screens were upgraded to high-definition and approximately 1,600 feet of digital ribbon board was also in the stadium.
A major renovation began in 2007. At a cost of $375 million, the concourses were widened by 60%, the numbers of suites were greatly expanded, more restrooms and concessions were added, and a Chiefs Hall of Honor was placed in the concourse in addition to a large Chiefs team store.
From 1996-2007, Arrowhead was home to the Kansas City Wizards of MLS. It has hosted five Big 12 Conference football championship games and has been host to numerous concerts.
Food & Beverage 4
It would be hard for anyone to come to Arrowhead and not find something they like to eat. Arrowhead offers a wide variety of traditional stadium fare such as burgers, hot dogs, brats, pizza, chicken sandwiches, cheesesteak, etc. They also offer veggie burgers and hot dogs for the vegetarians out there and offer some gluten-free products as well. There are a few specifics well worth mentioning. This being Kansas City, barbecue is a must. New to Arrowhead is Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue. Jack Stack recently replaced Gates BBQ inside Arrowhead. They offer a full line of BBQ products, including brisket, pulled pork, burnt ends, chicken, and ribs. If you are a fan of ribs, these won’t disappoint. The BBQ offerings will run about $9-$11. Another newer option for fans is a gourmet mac and cheese station. I was already full of ribs when I came across this place but more than one fan assured me that the mac and cheese with burnt ends ($9.50) is the way to go. Coke products are the soda offerings at Arrowhead with your best bet being the souvenir soda with a refill for $7. In addition, water, coffee, hot chocolate, etc. are also available.
Arrowhead offers a full line of adult beverages. A litany of beers are available throughout the stadium, including a souvenir cup for $9.75. The Arrowhead beer is specific only to Arrowhead Stadium and quite tasty if you are a fan of amber. Throughout the concourse are Chiefs bars which offer a full line of cocktails for every taste.
Arrowhead offers something for everyone and the only thing keeping this category from 5 stars are some of the prices. While generally in line with what you can expect in the NFL, some are a bit high.
It simply doesn’t get any better than this. From before you even enter the stadium, you would be hard pressed to not have a good time. Tailgating is a big deal in Kansas City. It’s easy to chat up Chiefs fans as you walk through the parking lots. They are a friendly bunch of folks and don’t be surprised if you are offered a beverage or some great pre-game food. Be sure and get inside with enough time to look around before kickoff. Behind sections 118-120 in the concourse is the Chiefs Hall of Honor. The Chiefs did a spectacular job with this area which celebrates both the team and individual successes of the Chiefs and their players. Included are jerseys, helmets, trophies, and other great miscellaneous memorabilia from throughout Chiefs history.
The stadium is abuzz as kickoff approaches and other than halftime, it never wanes. At the end of the National Anthem, the entire stadium shouts, “…home of the Chiefs.” Touchdowns have their own songs and celebration and there is deafening noise throughout. Noise is no stranger to Arrowhead. In fact, Chiefs fans own the record and hold the unofficial crown as the loudest fans. On September 29, 2014 they reclaimed their record, briefly held by Seattle Seahawks fans, when they registered 142.2 decibels. Some charts indicate 125 decibels is the pain threshold. That doesn’t seem to matter in Kansas City.
This is a bit of a tricky category. Outside of Arrowhead neighbor, Kauffman Stadium, there isn’t anything worth mentioning in the immediate area. However, downtown Kansas City is 10-15 minutes away and has far too much to offer for this rating to be any lower. Just outside the stadium, your food options are limited to Taco Bell, Subway, and Denny’s. However, hop in the car and head down I-70 a few miles and the choices are overwhelming. Foodies love Kansas City and it starts with barbecue. KC staples Gates and Arthur Bryant’s are both about 10 minutes away. If BBQ isn’t your thing, not to worry, there are literally hundreds of restaurants in the downtown area, and offer something for every taste.
For fans of sport or even history in general, a trip to Kansas City cannot be complete without a trip to the Negro Leagues Museum. Only 7 miles down I-70, the Negro Leagues Museum offers a fantastic look at some of the best players ever to take the field. Jerseys, contracts, bats, and other memorabilia adorn the walls of the museum, not to mention an absolutely enormous collection of autographed baseballs of Negro Leagues players that was donated to the museum by legendary front man Geddy Lee of the band, Rush.
Other downtown musts are a fabulous World War I memorial and museum, a unique opportunity to see and tour one of the U.S. Mints, and if traveling with children, a great aquarium, Legoland, and much more.
There are a few hotels within reasonable walking distance of Arrowhead. The Drury Inn & Suites and Four Points by Sheraton are suitable options. If looking to stay closer to downtown, there are plenty of reasonable lodging options along I-70.
Chiefs’ fans are a raucous bunch and love to make noise. Holding the record for crowd noise certainly backs that up. They are into the game before kickoff and don’t stop. As the game progresses, generally so does the crowd noise. There will always be a segment of fans that curse too much and generally act like imbeciles, in turn causing fans to abandon attending the game in exchange for watching it from the relative tranquility of their living rooms. These types are very much in the minority at Arrowhead. Fans in KC are very fair to fans of the visiting team, giving them ribbing on occasion but generally in a good-natured way. They are however, very passionate about their team and exercise no restraint in cheering for them, especially when the play on the field dictates. They can sense the ebbs and flows and tend to grow even louder when the situation calls for it.
Arrowhead Stadium is located southeast of downtown Kansas City near the convergence of I-435 and I-70 and it is relatively easy to get to. With seven separate entrances, getting in and parking is a lot easier than one would expect. There are plenty of workers to help with the parking flow. With what security has become today, it may take a few moments to get inside the stadium but there are numerous gates, the ticket takers will always help point you in the right direction, and getting in is hardly a nuisance.
Prior to kickoff, the concourse can be a little crowded. Fans generally stay with the flow and while you will be walking a little slower than normal, you can get where you need to go in a reasonable amount of time.
Return on Investment 4
In order to attend a Chiefs game, expect to pay about what you would anywhere else in the NFL. Prices vary by game depending on opponent with tickets ranging from about $30 up to $180 for a non-prime game. For the prime games, expect to pay $115-$385 depending choice of seating. The Chiefs offer a nice feature for fans that don’t necessarily want to brave the elements outside. Club tickets are available for individuals to purchase. It gives someone a “skybox” feel without having to find a group of 20+ people to attend with them. With parking being a bit steep at $30 per vehicle, NFL-sized ticket prices, and food/beverages the NFL norm, you are looking at a little investment to attend a game here.
An extra point goes to the Chiefs Hall of Honor. It is very unique to have something this comprehensive sitting in a concourse and is definitely worth taking your time to look at before or after the game. Add another point for the employees. From the person I spoke with at the parking gate to the ushers, to the concessionaires, the employees couldn’t have been friendlier and seemed to be there with the idea of making the game more enjoyable for the fans. The Chiefs efforts to make Arrowhead fan-friendly are very noticeable, even prior to kickoff. Want to have a tailgate party but don’t want to go through the hassle of bringing, unpacking and re-packing everything? They have you covered, literally. Tents along with food and drink packages are available (for a cost) if you want the tailgate experience without the hassle.
Since I couldn’t give 6 stars to the fans and atmosphere, I will add another one here. It is hard to beat the experience they both provide.
An extra point goes to the stadium. The upgrades have made the stadium have an old-time feel to it but with all the modern necessities fans need to enjoy the game.
Final extra point goes to the organization for their work in the community. One of the great features Arrowhead provides is the Sports Lab. The Sports Lab provides kids with opportunities to learn more about healthy living through hands-on activities and interactive computer games. The Chiefs also participate in the NFL’s Play 60 campaign to help children stay active and have a litany of other events and campaigns that benefit the community.
Outside of prices being on the high-end, there isn’t anything not to like when attending a game here. There is a fabulous atmosphere, passionate fans, a great staff, and a world-class city with plenty to do just down the road. If you are a fan of the NFL, make it a point to attend a Chiefs game at Arrowhead Stadium; it will not disappoint.
Food and Drink Recommendations
Holiday Inn Kansas City
9103 East 39th St
Kansas City, MO 64133
Four Points by Sheraton
4011 Blue Ridge Cutoff
Kansas City, MO 64133
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