Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs are the main American Football team of Kansas, based in the state’s capital Kansas City. They play in the West Division of the American Football Conference of the American National Football League.

The team has been running since the 1960s, when it was known as the Dallas Texans and played in the-then American Football League. The team notably beat the Minnesota Vikings in the Super Bowl as part of an AFL-NFL World Championship game.

More recently, however, the team have performed less well and suffered a poor season in 2007 that was documented in the reality television show “Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Kansas City Chiefs”.

History

Early Franchise History and the American Football League

Before the 1960s, there existed only one American football league in the United States of America – the National Football League. Lamar Hunt saw this as an opportunity for expansion and proposed to establish another league using his father’s oil fortune.

His first move was to set up the Dallas Texans, who played at the Cotton Bowl (the home of their National Football League equivalent, the Dallas Cowboys). The newly established American Football League was the stage for Dallas’ early glory, where they beat the Houston Oliers in 1962 in one of the longest matches ever seen in American football.

However, falling attendance and lower bids for television rights were clear indicators that Dallas wasn’t big enough for the two teams. As a result, H Bartle, the Mayor of Kansas City, made a bid for the team to transfer to Kansas so the Mid-West would be better represented on the sports front.

An agreement was subsequently struck, conditional on a guarantee from the mayor of at least 35,000 season ticket sales. Bartle’s decision won the support of the public, who voted in hugely encouraging numbers in the name-the-team contest. After deciding on the Kansas City Chiefs, the team played their first match at the Kansas City Municipal Stadium in 1963.

The team was one of the stars of the newly established American Football League, winning the 1962 AFL Championship in a monumental game that went into double extra time. They also had the most Super Bowl appearances, won the most American Football League Championships and beat the Vikings in the last AFL-NFL World Championship game in 1969.

Pivotal to these glory years in the late 1960s were Hank Stram and quarterback Len Dawson, both of whom steered the team to numerous victories.

The 80s and 90s

Carl Peterson took over as president and manager in 1989 and soon appointed long time friend Marty Schottenheimer as coach. Schottenheimer carried the team to an impressive six consecutive playoff appearances and a 65% winning percentage for the 1990s.

The team picked up quarterback Dave Kreig in 1992, who was able to help build on the excellent defensive record from the previous season. The following season, the most notable signing was Marcus Allen of the Los Angeles Raiders, who brought a new dynamic to the team’s back field. Despite his superb power passes and rushing assists, the team lost the AFC Championship to the Buffalo Bills.

1997 saw a new quarterback step up to helm the Chiefs. Elvis Grbac enjoyed a great opening run of seven from eight wins before having to step down because of injury. His replacement Rich Gannon performed poorly in comparison, only winning a handful of matches against the lesser opponents Oakland and San Diego.

As a sign of what the Chiefs were missing, Grabc’s return saw the Chiefs win their playoff match against Denver 14-10. Then, another injury meant that Gannon was called upon once more to open the 1998 season, a game that they predictably lost.

The team seemed to rely heavily upon Grabc, and even after his return, the disruption proved too much and they lost the next 5 games to end a poor season. This disappointment was replicated in the 1999 season, as the Chiefs missed out on the playoffs for the second season in a row.

The Early 2000s

Coming off the back of this mediocre run, Dick Vermeil, the former St Louis Rams’ coach who had retired after taking them to the Super Bowl, moved out of retirement to become head coach of the Chiefs.

Despite improvements, the offense continued to frustrate the Chiefs’ hopes of progressing in the playoffs. However, this turned around in 2003, when a devastating run of nine victories alerted their rivals to the new threat they posed for the Super Bowl.

Sadly though, the powerful new offense was not strong enough to beat the Indianapolis Colts in the playoffs, as the run proved a false dawn. To compound matters, neither of the following two seasons saw the Chiefs reach the playoffs, despite impressive winning percentages.

2004 to Present

The 2004 season saw the Chiefs end with 7 wins to 9 losses, leaving them in 3rd place overall. It was a fairly uninspiring time for Chiefs and the following season was not much different, despite the addition of Larry Johnson at running back. They were again unlucky not to reach the playoffs, with 10 wins to 6 losses, but that didn’t stop Dick Vermeil retiring at the end of the season.

Replaced by Herman Edwards for the 2006, the Chiefs finally broke their hoodoo and reached the playoffs. The return was not much of a success though, as the Chiefs were taken out by the Indianapolis Colts, their conquerors the last time they reached the playoffs.

Unfortunately, this improvement was not sustained in the 2007 season, as a bad run of injuries saw the team get through 5 different running backs. Will Shields, in particular, was conspicuous in his absence and the offensive line failed to make any real impact during the season.

In preparation for the 2008 season, the Chiefs have made a number of changes to the roster, with offensive tackle Anthony Alabi and kicker Nick Novak some of the personnel coming in, while Eddie Kennison and John Welbourn were a few of the departures. Placed fifth in the Draft, the Chiefs hope to build on these signings and serve up a more competitive season for their recently suffering supporters.

The Kansas City Chief’s Grounds

The first official home of the Chiefs post name-change was the 22nd and Brooklyn Municipal Stadium. The capacity was 49,000 and had been running since 1923. In 1972 they moved to the Arrowhead Stadium, winning their opening game against the St. Louis Cardinals, 24-14.

The Arrowhead Stadium made up half of the Truman Sports Complex, the other half being the Kauffman Stadium, which was the Kansas City Royal’s home ground at one point. Building two separate stadiums was seen as a massive risk at that time, with the trend being to construct proper multi-faceted stadiums that more than one sports discipline could share.

Against all predictions, the Truman Sports Complex still stands whilst many of the multi-purpose stadiums have long since been demolished. The team have record breaking attendence levels, with 141 games completely sold out from 1990 to 2006. This is the longest run of any team in the NFL.

Given the ground’s huge attendance, it is of no surprise that it has a reputation for being one of the loudest and most intimidating places for away teams to play. The original mascot, a pinto horse called Warpaint, was replaced in 1989 by a man dressed up as a wolf.

The wolf man is known as K. C. Wolf and famously assisted the security team in apprehending a rogue spectator who managed to storm the field. K. C. celebrated by flexing the pseudo-muscles of his suit to a stadium of astonished fans.

Directions to the Arrowhead Stadium from the Kansas City International Airport are as follows: Leave the airport and follow signs to the Interstate 29. Drive South along Interstate 29 to Interstate 35. Drive along Interstate 35 to Interstate 70 then head East along Interstate 70. Take the Blue Ridge Exit from Interstate 70 and the Arrowhead Stadium is situated on the right.

Hall of Famers

The Chiefs currently have 13 people enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. These names include Bobby Bell, Lamar Hunt, Joe Montana and the recently added Emmitt Thomas.

Team Memberships

The lowest level membership is the Arrowhead Club, which is located on the Club and Plaza levels of the stadium. It is primarily aimed for personal and business entertaining, with priority for those who want to organise low level corporate events. Membership includes access to the club for all Chiefs games, priority club level seating, priority Gold parking and advance ticket purchase options. The club itself boasts supreme dining from the Levy Restaurants chain in a 300 seat club cafe.

The Hall of Fame room has a rich, dark wood décor and is decorated with various items of club memorabilia. The Terrace Room and Ballroom have a more relaxed feel, and both have excellent views of the pitch and TV screens.

The Tailgates Club is the most expensive of the club memberships, classing itself as offering “an elite pre-game experience”. The club is under a 17,000 square foot tent, complete with patio area, on-sight kitchen and is set afoot a beautiful wooded area behind the pitch.

The membership costs $690 for a season and includes a sliver platter buffet, an open bar, private toilets, live bands, appearances from the cheerleaders and mascot. Members are also given the option to purchase Field Level seating and Red reserved parking.

For a more lively match warm up, the Wolfpack Club offers one of the best atmospheres in the NFL. Membership to the club includes admission to the Pavilion, upgraded stadium seating, the opportunity to purchase special Wolfpack parking passes and private entrance to the stadium.

The Pavilion features a Chiefs History Wall display, two 161” screens and a large patio area overlooking the players’ entry.

Membership form applications are available on the official website.

Tickets

Single game ticket prices range from $44 for Upper Level Read Seating to $115 for Club Level Sideline Seating. Field Level seats cost from $81 to $94, Club Level from $105 to $115 and Upper Level from $44 to $83.

Tickets are available from Ticketmaster. Alternatively, tickets can be bought in person with cash or credit card at the Kansas City Chiefs Ticket Office, which is located at Gate D1 on the South East corner of the stadium.

Season tickets can be applied for through the Kansas City Chiefs Official Website. The cheapest are the Upper Level Red View tickets at $390 and the most expensive are the Club Level Red Zone at $1050.

Contact Information

Achievements

  • AFL Championship – Winners (1962, 1966, 1969)
  • AFL-NFL Super Bowl Championship – Winner (1969)
  • AFL West Division Championship – Winner (1962, 1966)
  • AFC West Division Championship – Winner (1971, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2003)