Arrowhead changes for the 2026 World Cup to start in 2025

Four years separate us from the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup in Kansas City. But details, such as what happens to Arrowhead Stadium, are being worked out now.

Chief Executives Mark Donovan said Monday that necessary alterations to the Arrowhead project will be part of the two-year construction plan.

The idea is to start work on the stadium in the spring of 2025, and it will involve removing the seats. These seats will be returned for the 2025 football season, and the process will be repeated in 2026 with football matches in the summer.

Why align with Arrowhead in 2025? To check FIFA and the possibility of playing games.

“Our goal is to make sure every seat is replaced every season, so we don’t lose any seats (in football),” Donovan said. “It will be a huge challenge for our operations and our construction crews.”

Donovan said fewer than 10,000 seats will be temporarily removed from the bottom rows and corners.

“It doesn’t seem like a big project, but I will tell you that when you get into the architecture of the building and the age of the building, it’s a huge project,” Donovan said.

Could building an arrowhead mean some permanent changes to the playing field? Donovan has not ruled out that possibility.

KCM_ChiefsTrainingCamp_0725 (7)
Kansas City Chief of Staff Mark Donovan speaks to reporters after a news conference during a training camp in St. Joseph on Monday, July 25, 2022. Emily Curiel [email protected]

“There are scenarios where we’re going to do something different for the World Cup and say, ‘Wait a second, if you’re renovating Arrowhead, are you going to keep that or change this or are you going to take advantage of the build you’ve already done? “That’s in the mix,” Donovan said.

Kansas City and Arrowhead Stadium were one of 11 locations selected for matches in the 2026 World Cup, which will also be held in Canada and Mexico. Seventeen US cities participated in the bidding process.

In a tweet last month when the World Cup was announced, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas put a $50 million price tag on the stadium project and said the city would ask Missouri for funding as well as private fundraising.

The World Cup, the world’s largest sporting event, isn’t the first on the list of big sports attractions coming to Kansas City that include the Chiefs. The NFL Draft arrives in April 2023. NFL officials were in Kansas City a week ago to meet with city presidents and leaders about the three-day event.

“The draft at 2323 will be the largest event Kansas City has ever hosted,” Donovan said. “Give me a little hint as to which direction we’re going… Our goal is to shine a spotlight on Kansas City.”

This story was originally published July 25, 2022 1:37 pm.

Blair Kerkhove has covered sporting events for The Kansas City Star since 1989.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: