A grand total of $375 million was spent on renovations to Arrowhead Stadium (now unofficially being called “New Arrowhead) that were completed this year, and it all was a big waste of our money. The renovations include wider concourses, new video boards at both end zones, renovations to the suites, more suites in place of where the old press box was, and a new press box (way up high, apparently to keep the media as far away from the field as possible), a Chiefs Hall of Fame, and a new video scoreboard along the ring of the stadium.
Yet, the negative aspects of these renovations by far outweigh the positive ones.
For starters, they took down the Ring of Honor. Previously, Kansas City Chiefs greats such as Len Dawson, Derrick Thomas, Bobby Bell, and others were displayed proudly, overlooking the field. Now, there is nothing but concrete and a new video scoreboard. This change is the most unsettling of the renovations. Not only is it disgraceful that the Ring of Honor is completely gone, but they replaced it with a scoreboard that not only doesn’t show scores from around the NFL, but they show almost zero stats from the game being played at Arrowhead. In a sport where the outcome of one divisional game means so much, and in a world where many fans are in fantasy football leagues, it is ridiculous that Arrowhead does a horrible job of keeping the fans up to date. During the game, one has no idea what Matt Cassel’s stat line is unless they have access to the internet. This would be bearable with today’s use of technology and mobile devices, but in many cases it is almost impossible to get internet access in a crowded stadium. Most of the time, the use of the video scoreboard is limited to showing an image of “Miller Lite” or “Hy-Vee” logos. Scores from around the league are very rarely shown, and when they are on the scoreboard, they only show a couple games at a time.
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The Chiefs whored themselves out on this one; instead of honoring the all time greats or using the scoreboard to make it a more enjoyable experience for the fans, they show less information than “Old Arrowhead” did, instead they use the scoreboard that the people of Kansas City paid for to make more money for themselves by only showing advertisements. Seriously, do you need the Miller Lite icon around the scoreboard 100 times?
Here’s another huge negative for regular fans: what happened to Gates? Kansas City’s most popular barbecue place used to sell their food inside Arrowhead stadiums to hungry fans, but it is no longer there. The food selection at the New Arrowhead is subpar at best.
There are only a few positives to the renovations. For one, the concourses are wider, so getting in and out is slightly easier, although you still have to make your way through the wave of fans. For another, the video boards are slightly better, and the Chiefs Hall of fame is pretty good, despite the fact that the Ring of Honor was removed. Also, if you are fortunate enough to have seats on the club level, you get a bunch of shiny new upgrades. But most fans aren’t in the club level, so this doesn’t help the experience of the everyday fan.
The $375 million for renovations that the Kansas City Chiefs wasted shows that the organization really is out of touch with its regular everyday lower-deck and upper-deck fans. If, before the renovations were done, you asked an average fan what they’d like to see the $375 million go towards, a scoreboard that keeps us up to date with stats from today’s game and other games from around the league seems like a no-brainer. Another obvious answer would be better food. The Chiefs did neither of these.
Going to games at the “New Arrowhead” Stadium has been a blast this year; but this is because of the product that Scott Pioli and Todd Haley have put on the field, not the stadium itself. The Chiefs as an organization and the people in charge of the renovations should be ashamed of themselves for not only failing to use $375 million to improve the game day experience of regular Chiefs fans, but for making it worse.