Chiefs president says team has considered new stadium options in Kansas when Arrowhead lease expires

Arrowhead Stadium is synonymous with Kansas City Chiefs football. Built in 1972, Arrowhead has given the Chiefs a significant home-field advantage that has helped the franchise earn 20 playoff berths, two conference titles and a Super Bowl title over the past half-century. 

While the team appreciates its history with Arrowhead, Chiefs president Mark Donovan acknowledged on Tuesday that the franchise has considered other options for when their lease expires in 2031. Donovan said that the team has specifically considered options in Kansas, as it has been pitched stadium offers developers in the state, via Kevin Clark of The Ringer. 

Upon seeing what Donovan said, Kansas City mayor Quinton Lucas quickly issued a response via Twitter

“Kansas City has proudly hosted the Chiefs since the early 1960s,” Lucas said. “We look forward to working with the Chiefs, our state of Missouri partners, and local officials to ensure the Chiefs remain home in Kansas City and Missouri for generations to come.”

This isn’t the first time that the Chiefs have alluded to the possibility of pursuing a new stadium. Back in the fall, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt discussed the matter as the Royals confirmed their plans to pursue a new stadium in downtown Kansas City. 

“Obviously, things change, and the way fans want to consume the game and the kind of spaces that you need, those things change over time and we’re paying attention to that,” Hunt said at the time, via FOX Kansas City. “We’ve had beautiful stadiums open now in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and there will be things when we get to the end of our lease here in nine or so years that I’m sure we’ll want to incorporate into the stadium. One possibility will be another renovation of Arrowhead.”

The Chiefs completed a $375 million renovation of Arrowhead in 2010 and have made several smaller projects on the stadium over the past few years. While it is the third-oldest stadium in the NFL (Chicago’s Soldier Field and Green Bay’s Lambeau Field are older), Arrowhead’s seating capacity of 76,416 makes it the sixth-largest stadium in the NFL and the 27th largest stadium in the United States. 

Arrowhead recently made history by becoming the first NFL stadium to host four consecutive conference championship games. Nearly every great Chiefs player and coach — from Hank Stram, Len Dawson, Willie Lanier, to Marty Schottenheimer, Joe Montana, Neil Smith and Derrick Thomas, to Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill — has called Arrowhead Stadium home. 

Kansas, the state the Chiefs are being courted by, has never had a professional team in any of the four major sports. The state has long enjoyed one of college basketball’s best teams in the Kansas Jayhawks, who are currently vying to win the franchise’s fourth NCAA title. Kansas State’s football program rose to national prominence shortly after former head coach Bill Snyder’s arrival on campus in 1989. Decades before that, running back Gale Sayers, the state’s greatest football player, dazzled on the gridiron for Kansas while being hailed as the “Kansas Comet.” Sayers went on to enjoy a Hall of Fame career with the Chicago Bears.