On November 5, 1989 I made my first trip to Arrowhead Stadium. Three buddies and I got to see the Chiefs defeat the Seattle Seahawks 17-10 on a gorgeous day for football.
Since then I have considered Arrowhead the premier sports venue I have attended. I also have season tickets for the Arkansas Razorbacks and so I get my share of stadium experiences each season.
With the recent announcement of a possible Super Bowl in Kansas City and with the past attempts at funding renovations for what I consider “The Best Stadium in the World” I got to doing some pondering on just what a stadium is.
I have been in dump facilities and I have been in modern structures and I have been in many in between. One thing I have noticed is that fancy scoreboards (Razorback Stadium has one which has been called the largest in the country), fancy sound systems blaring music, and fancy effects will never compensate for a quality team on the field.
Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, home of the LSU Tigers, is one of the nastiest (physically) places I have ever been. It is also one of the greatest places to watch a ball game. The crowd is there for one purpose–THE GAME. No bells, no whistles and no fancy doodads.
Razorback Stadium has that monster scoreboard. Big Deal–the Hogs are 4 & 6 and no scoreboard of any size will compensate for a losing team on the field.
Which brings me to Arrowhead. Yes, the place needs some cosmetic work here and there. Sure, the bathrooms and concessions could use some fixing in places. But will spending millions on a stadium get the people in the seats if there is not a winning team on the field to keep them there?
Look around the NFL at some of the newer stadiums. Okay, they have all sorts of special effects and entertainment. But if the team is a consistent loser will people show up to cheer the light show?
Put a winning team on the field and the people will come. Put a winning team on the field and the fans will be there game after game.
The fans make Arrowhead the great place it is. The fans make Arrowhead the loudest stadium and the best place to watch a game. Not effects, not lights, not blaring music. The fans are what make a stadium what it truly is.