Truman Sports Complex

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Truman Sports Complex in Kansas City, Missouri, as seen before expansive renovations in the late 2000s; Arrowhead Stadium is to the left and Kauffman Stadium is to the right.

The Harry S. Truman Sports Complex[1] is a sports and entertainment facility located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is home to two major sports venues: Arrowhead Stadium—home of the National Football League's Kansas City Chiefs, and Kauffman Stadium—home of Major League Baseball's Kansas City Royals. The complex also hosts various other events during the year.

Description[edit]

The Truman Sports Complex was built and owned by the government of Jackson County and managed by the Jackson County Sports Complex Authority, which is a State of Missouri agency.[2] The current complex design, made by Charles Deaton, was arrived at when Deaton caught the ear of Kansas City Chiefs General Manager Jack Steadman and suggested building side-by-side stadiums for the two sports with each stadium customized to its needs.[3] The original plan called for separate side-by-side stadiums[4] with a mutual rolling roof. However, the roof was never built due to cost.[3] The complex was revolutionary in an age when new stadiums tended to be built as multiuse venues for planning and cost purposes.

The design not only made Deaton's reputation, but also made that of the architects that implemented his plans, Kivett and Myers. In 1975, the firm merged with Kansas City architect firm HNTB and went on to design stadiums like Giants Stadium, the RCA Dome, Sports Authority Field at Mile High, and Ralph Wilson Stadium. In 1983, several HNTB architects were hired by St. Louis-based architectural firm Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum, forming what would later become Populous and opening their primary office in Kansas City.

Kansas City began a project to renovate both Arrowhead and Kauffman Stadiums in 2007, following the passage of a 3/8-cent sales tax increase in a referendum in 2006. Improvements to Kauffman Stadium were finished in time for the MLB Opening Day in 2009,[5] and Arrowhead Stadium was completed in time for the NFL Opening Day in 2010. A separate tax referendum to raise funds to finally build the rolling roof failed. Both stadiums are being renovated by Populous.[6][7]

With renovations, both the Royals and Chiefs have leases on the stadiums through January 31, 2031. Their previous lease which was renegotiated in 1990 had been set to expire January 31, 2015.[8]

Arrowhead Stadium[edit]

Main article: Arrowhead Stadium
Arrowhead Stadium

Arrowhead Stadium, home of the National Football League's Kansas City Chiefs, opened in the fall of 1972. George Halas called Arrowhead "the most revolutionary, futuristic sports complex I have ever seen."[3] Fans occasionally refer to the stadium as "The Sea of Red" or simply just Arrowhead. The stadium is commonly referred to as the "Home of the CHIEFS" at the beginning of every home game.[9][10] Arrowhead has long held a reputation for being one of, if not the, loudest outdoor stadium in the NFL due to the exuberance of the Chiefs' fans.[11] In recent years, Arrowhead has competed with CenturyLink Field in Seattle for the loudest open-air stadium in the world, as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. Kansas City briefly held the record when the crowd roar reached 137.5 decibels in a Chiefs victory over the Oakland Raiders on October 13, 2013; but Seattle's 12th Man broke the record only a few weeks later at 137.8 decibels. [12] Arrowhead reclaimed the title, however, on September 29, 2014 when noise levels reached 142.2 decibels as the Chiefs defeated the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football.[13]

Kauffman Stadium[edit]

Main article: Kauffman Stadium
Kauffman Stadium

Kauffman Stadium, home of Major League Baseball's Kansas City Royals, opened in spring 1973 as Royals Stadium and is located adjacent to Arrowhead. The stadium's name was changed in 1993 to honor Royals founder Ewing Kauffman just months before his death. Because the stadium is less than 40 years old, it is the sixth-oldest stadium in the MLB, as a result of the construction of a number of new stadiums in the 1990s. It was the only baseball-specific stadium completed from the early 1960s until the early 1990s. It is also 1/10 of ten stadiums in Major League Baseball that doesn't have a corporate-sponsored name (the others are Marlins Park, Turner Field, Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium of Anaheim, and Nationals Park; Turner, Wrigley, and Kauffman itself are all the only 3 out of those ten who are named for the individuals and not the corporations that they owned).

In addition to that, the stadium was the last baseball-only park that built built in the majors (not counting temporary facilities) from 1966—1991 and one of the few baseball-only facilities built in the majors during the heyday of the cookie-cutter stadium era, as well as one of two such facilities (alongside Dodger Stadium) that are still active and were never converted for use as multi-purpose stadiums.

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