Why haven't the Chiefs and Royals built new stadiums?

Both are nearing the half century mark. Is it just because the owners of the respective teams are cheapskates or the city/state refuses to pony up the money or what?

They just renovated Arrowhead and Kauffman Stadiums. The teams are happy there and the fans have not expressed any displeasure about the facilitates. Why would they attempt to have them replaced? Kauffman in particular, with the fountains, is very nice.

I agree about Kauffman. A truly beautiful stadium. As a Raiders fan I hate Arrowhead.

It was nice when the fountains were out there alone, now they are lost with the new seats and all the other crap.

Here’s a pretty good analysis of the problems facing new stadiums for KC.

And when you’re talking about potential costs of more than a billion dollars, “cheapskate” doesn’t really apply.

Because so many other teams have felt the need to replace stadiums which are often a mere 2 decades old?

One thing about Kauffman and Arrowhead. In the 1960s and 1970s when many places built dual purpose stadiums for football and baseball, Kansas City built two separate ones. I hate to cite civic pride for either owner but maybe that, and a low chance of getting two new expensive ones in Missouri, helps to keep them.

That starts to get at why being in an older stadium is a competitive disadvantage for a team.

As new stadiums get built, they tend to have (a) more amenities for the fans, and (b) more ways for the tenant teams to make additional revenue: more premium seating, in-stadium attractions like year-round restaurants and pro shops, etc. Particularly in the NFL, stadium revenues (especially things other than ticket sales) are among the few sources of revenue that a team doesn’t have to split evenly with the rest of the league.

As stadiums have become ridiculously expensive, and as public sentiment has grown against public financing for stadiums, the number of cities willing and able to build a new stadium to entice a team to move continues to shrink, though it’s probably not yet at zero.

In the case of the NFL, two of the primary cities that had long been rumored to be relocation targets (Los Angeles and Las Vegas) have teams now*, and the only remaining city with any buzz around it is London (which would have a number of logistical challenges, as well as having a team – Jacksonville – which is already working on an inside track there). So, while the Chiefs might want a new stadium in the years to come, there may not be a huge fear that another city could steal them away if they can’t get a deal done in Kansas City.

    • Vegas doesn’t technically have a team today, but the Raiders’ move there for 2020 has already been approved by the league.

Royals fans love Kauffman Stadium. I don’t think they would at all want their tax money being used to tear down a stadium that’s both beautiful and structurally strong to replace it with something likely less nice.

Why do Americans love to tear stadia down? Were they all built poorly or shoddily? A stadium should have long term historic value.

That’s because older ones tend not to have luxury boxes, retractable roofs, and other fripperies that corporate sponsors want, and are willing to pay for in the cause of entertaining clients and themselves. Historic value doesn’t mean as much in the US, either.

Those can’t be added in renovations?

You don’t get a new stadium that way. There is strong marketing value in newness, at least here.

Sometimes they can, sometimes they can’t. Some of the common improvements (like additional luxury suites) may require space that simply isn’t there in an existing stadium, which wasn’t designed to accommodate such things.

There have certainly been examples of renovations that have been done to existing stadiums, particularly those with historic importance (like Wrigley Field or Fenway Park). The Packers have made repeated improvements to Lambeau Field, to the point that the stadium itself, as it appears today, looks almost nothing like how it looked in the 1970s (though the bowl itself is essentially unchanged).

And, there are some stadiums that can’t be torn down, due to being on the register of historic sites. When the Chicago Bears wanted a new (or renovated) stadium, they were hamstrung by limitations on what they could do to Soldier Field. The result was a renovation that took a classical design, and made it into something that, here in Chicago, is almost universally seen as an abomination.

Plus, extensive renovations can take several years, and a team needs somewhere to play during the renovation process. As the Packers have renovated Lambeau (and as the Cubs have been renovating Wrigley), they’ve done it in a way that largely focuses the work during the off-season, but that probably adds expense to the process. When the Bears renovated Soldier Field, they had to vacate the stadium entirely for a season, and play at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, which is two hours south of Chicago, a move which likely cost the team significant money in the near term.

And, finally, the historic (and sentimental) value of some stadiums is probably limited. Fans would be in uproar if Lambeau or Fenway or Kauffman were torn down; there wasn’t much sentimental value in the Vet in Philadelphia.


That’s exactly what was done in Kansas City, about 10 years ago. So no point in a new stadium.

Angels Stadium is an excellent example of many renovations vs a rebuild.

Version 1: A boring horseshoe stadium with parking lots and storage in the empty outfield areas.

Version 2: Built for the LA Rams. The stadium was converted to a bowl. Luxury suites were added.

Version 3: Built to keep the Angels in Anaheim and paid for by Disney. Today’s modified horseshoe with the rocks in the area behind right center field.

As the article to which kunilou linked notes:

Looking at the protracted debates (and numerous proposals) for new or renovated stadiums that the Chargers and Raiders went through in San Diego and Oakland, both of which eventually led to relocation, I think it’s a legitimate, if unfortunate and slightly crazy, question.

And, as insane as it sounds, as stadiums get renovated, new stadiums get built, and teams relocate, it’s starting to appear that the “shelf life” for a stadium (in a particular configuration) is looking like around 25 years or so. A team that finds itself in a stadium that’s much older than that finds itself being behind the curve on revenue, and under pressure to change that in order to remain competitive.

Older stadiums no longer fit the needs of a major sports team, defined in terms of how much money the owners can make. That’s really the only type of value that matters. There are a small handful of old stadiums left in the US:
[li]Fenway Park - 1912[/li][li]Wrigley Field - 1913[/li][li]LA Collesium - 1923[/li][li]Soldiers Field - 1924 - completely rebuilt in 2002[/li][/ul]

There basically are no stadiums in use today that were built between the 1920s and 1960s.

True, but that’s only until the facility gets old enough to be arguably historic. Fenway Park and Wrigley Field attract fans *because *they’re old, not despite it. But there’s only a niche market for history, and it’s already filled.

Yes, I keep flogging Lambeau, but it belongs on your list, too – it originally opened as City Stadium in 1957, and was renamed Lambeau Field in 1965. It’s the longest continually-occupied stadium in the NFL; Soldier Field is older, but it only became the home of the Bears in 1971 (they played at Wrigley before then).