August 15, 2007
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Arrowhead Stadium, with the family of the late Lamar Hunt kicking in an extra $50 million, is going to get a $375 million renovation.
The 35-year-old home of the Kansas City Chiefs will expand by approximately 500,000 square feet and will include a roughly 50 percent increase in concessions and an 80 percent increase in bathroom facilities. The concourse width will double and there will be a Chiefs Hall of Fame.
"Arrowhead as a facility has been the blueprint for NFL stadiums since it opened," Dennis Wellner, a founding senior principal at HOK Sports said Wednesday at a news conference.
"Goals for the project are to increase provisions for fans at all levels of the building and match what's been provided in the newest stadiums in the NFL at a cost of half what a new facility would cost."
Construction will take about three years and include a new training facility with a 100-yard indoor field and a separate building to house coaches and front office executives.
The Hunt family, sole owners of the Chiefs, originally committed $75 million to the project. Clark Hunt, chairman of the board of the Chiefs and son of the team's late founder, on Wednesday announced the family was putting in an additional $50 million, for a total contribution of $125 million.
"We just decided it was in the best long-range interest of the Chiefs and the Jackson County taxpayers to make the commitment," said Hunt, 42. "We felt that to get it right, it was important to go beyond what was required to insure that Arrowhead remains one of the greatest stadiums for decades to come."
Seating 79,541 and perpetually sold out, Arrowhead is the third-largest stadium in the NFL and in the fifth-smallest market.
During construction, the stadium will also reverse a trend at other stadiums by creating a "horizon level" in which fans in luxury suites will be sitting outside.
Carl Peterson, Chiefs president and general manager, said great care will be taken not to change the stadium's bowl and to retain the game-day atmosphere.
"We are going to be gutting and redoing 81 suites," Peterson said. "Our suite holders have indicated they don't want to sit inside. They still want their seats outside, and that's what we're doing."