December 02, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (82) and chairman Clark Hunt walk off the field after the game against the Carolina Panthers at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won 27-21. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs Fans: We Need Arrowhead Back

Dec 2, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs fans cheer against the Carolina Panthers in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won the game 27-21. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Most any NFL fan knows that the home of the Chiefs is Arrowhead stadium. The beautiful stadium made its debut at the start of the 1972 season and has seen its fair share of epic wins and crushing defeats. Considered the loudest stadium in the NFL, Arrowhead has given the Chiefs a very strong home-field advantage. So good, that since 1990 to now, the Chiefs post the 7th best record at home (106-54) in the regular season.

Since 2006 though, the Chiefs have really began to see the losses stack up, and the attendance go down. In 2006, the Chiefs total home attendance for the regular season (8 games) was 623,272. That was an average of around 77,000 which is right about Arrowhead’s capacity. Since then those numbers have dropped significantly including the 2010 season.

At the start of the 2010 season, the Chiefs were coming off just six wins in two years, but were able to come together and win a division title, including a record of 7-1 at home. However, the attendance that season was only totaled at 541,376 through 8 home games. That’s an average of around 67,672 fans per game, about 10,000 under Arrowhead’s capacity. Last, but not least, was last season, the worst season in franchise history. Sadly enough, it had a higher attendance average than the 2010 winning season, but only by about 8,000.

There have been a lot of different factors as to why the Chiefs attendance numbers have declined. From pitiful seasons to disastrous front office choices, somewhere along the line, Arrowhead has almost lost all its magic. A big part of it can be charged to the upgrades of home entertainment. Fantasy Football is at an all time high and fans want stats, and every game at their fingertips.

Between Sunday packages and NFL Redzone, why would a fan want to leave the comfort of their couch? High-definition broadcasts, cheap beer and food, no lines at the restrooms, and no dealing with the outdoor conditions, all figure in to declining attendance. Not to even mention the cost of tickets and parking. The new age has killed a lot of attendance numbers in stadiums across the NFL.

Most teams have recognized these issues and have looked into ways in which they can enhance the stadium experience. While I’m an avid fantasy football player myself, and also enjoy all the comforts from home, I say what the hell happened?

Remember when it was nearly impossible to attend a game on Sunday in Kansas City? Remember when the fans used to look forward to the harsh conditions that our winters would bring to our opponents? Remember when we were there to cheer for the Chiefs and not be focused on anything else outside of that stadium? That’s what our city needs to bring back.

Arrowhead needs to get back to the way it was before all the disastrous seasons and at-home luxuries. At one point, the Chiefs had a consecutive sellout record of 43 straight games. Those were the days when Arrowhead was full of pride and feared the most by opponents. Fans would poor into the Truman Sports Complex from all areas of the Midwest, not only to cheer their beloved Chiefs to victory, but to also tailgate. No other professional venue hosts a parking lot party like Kansas City.

I currently live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and people ask me all the time, “where is the best place to get BBQ in KC?” Every time I reply with “In the parking lot of Arrowhead Stadium.” Tailgating is taken as serious as the game that’s about to be played inside the stadium. The sights, sounds, and smells of the parking lot at Arrowhead are the pinnacle of our tradition.

On Monday October 31st, 2011, the Chiefs were hosting the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football. This was the first time in five years that I had seen Arrowhead back to it’s old ways. There was a haze of smoke in the air of the parking lot that fine October evening. Smoke from passionate fans grilling and barbequing. I can remember the delicious smells and partying atmosphere like it was yesterday.

Fans were excited and passionate about their team again. Not to mention the game was for a first place tie in the AFC West. Arrowhead was packed. It was the type of atmosphere where the guy behind you, a person you have never met before, was like your family. You made sure to turn around and high five that person on every good play the Chiefs made. That kind of atmosphere is the Arrowhead magic.

With a rockin’ crowd behind the Chiefs, Arrowhead magic struck once again that night at the expense of the Chargers. The Chargers were in position to win the game. With the clock expiring, and in range to kick the game winning field goal, quarterback Philip Rivers fumbled the snap of what would have been a simple hand off to kill the clock.

Somehow, someway, linebacker Andy Studebaker came up with the recovery, and I have never heard Arrowhead erupt like it did. Every single fan was jumping and hugging and slapping hands. It was truly an amazing moment to witness inside that stadium. The Chiefs went on to win the game in over time.

Arrowhead used be like that Monday night game every Sunday. That’s why I say we need Arrowhead back. The Chiefs need Arrowhead back. With new coaches, a new front office, new players, and a beautifully renovated stadium, the optimism is high and so are the season ticket sales. This new regime needs the greatest fans in the NFL to once again unite and pack Arrowhead to the point that it’s almost impossible for opponents to come in there and win.

We need the “tomahawk chop” to be louder than ever and have the entire stadium shaking from fans pounding on their seats and screaming – all things that used to happen every single home game. So I say to you, my fellow Chiefs fans, we need to let people know that Arrowhead is “the hoooome of theeee CHIEEEEFS!!!!”


Tags: Arrowhead Stadium Kansas City Chiefs

  • Joel Wagler

    Terrible teams lead to fans not paying the high prices. Win games and they will come. When Arrowhead is rocking, there is no place like it in the NFL. Great article!

  • Kristin Nighswonger

    I currently live in Orlando, FL. I have been to Tampa to watch my Chiefs, and this year I will go to Jacksonville to watch them. There is no other place like Arrowhead to watch a game!!! It’s impossible to describe what a magical place it is!

  • Drewfish

    Got goose bumps reading about the Monday night game…..I miss arrowhead like that!!!

    • jayhwk01

      You mean like the Monday night meltdown and Derrick Thomas ejection vs the Broncos?

      • Drewfish

        O how I do miss #58….

      • Josh Michaels

        Hahaha I was actually at that game. I was in 4th grade. But yeah, any Monday night atmosphere at arrowhead is amazing.

      • Ben Nielsen

        I can’t wait for the Chiefs to destroy Dallas. It’ll be glorious.

        • jayhwk01

          Could easily happen, Dallas can’t get out of their own way for about a decade now and Andy Reid coached circles around Jason Garrett every time Philly and Dallas played. At least I know Dallas fans will be well represented at Camerohead unlike when the Chiefs visit the baddest stadium in all of football.

          • Ben Nielsen

            Cowboys stadium is pretty but overrated. Not the best “game watching” experience when you’re trying to ignore the huge scoreboard which blocks a quarter of the field (depending on where you’re sitting).

          • jayhwk01

            I have heard differing opinions. Some people say it is the best in the NFL and the other half say it is impressive but over the top and hard to see from spots. I will wait to judge until I have been. I have been to arrowhead multiple times and it is very good. Top 10 for sure. Denver is better IMO and soldier field was very average. Those are the only ones I can speak of first hand.

          • Ben Nielsen

            By the way, I don’t mean to crap on the stadium. The thing has everything you’d expect given the price tag. You just forget you’re at a football game every once in a while.

  • Jim Butler

    Good article, brought tears to my eyes, I guess we’re part of the Chiefs fan base – southern division, I live in Shreveport, I have very high hopes for the Chiefs this year and pray those that are able to go to Arrowhead will be as loud and supportive as possible, GO CHEIFS !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jamie Denton

    I plan on making the trip to Arrowhead this year for one of the games although it is a 6 hour trip one way it is worth it to see the game live! My only complaints are how much the hotel rooms go up on game day they double in price! And parking at arrowhead is ridiculous where price is concerned! And it’s a good thing they let you get your party on outside because seriously $11.00 for a beer! I usually get one and then use my container for a water holder the rest of the game LOL… But I loved the whole article and I do hope fans get off the couch and go to a game this year!!! GO CHIEFS!!!!!!

    • Josh Michaels

      So awesome that you make a 6hr trip to arrowhead! That’s what it’s all about. And thanks for reading!

      • Jamie Denton

        Thanks Josh, The only bad thing is I lived about 3 blocks from the stadium complex from 81 till about 93 and never attended a game! I know my butt should be kicked!!! But being from southern MO. I didn’t know anything about it or how much it cost, and was young at the time and didn’t want to go by myself! But now if I lived there Season Tickets BABY!!!!!! It was cool though as I could sit in my backyard and have friends over and listen to the games or the concerts at Arrowhead! Fun Times!!!