Here’s what a Chiefs stadium in Kansas could look like, and some necessary context


Kansas lawmakers adjourned early Wednesday morning without debating a proposal that could clear a more lucrative path for luring the Chiefs and Royals across the state line.

It is a hiatus.

In the debate.

But certainly not in the suitors.

We have our first peek at the latter already. Sports stadium architect David Manica and developer Robb Heineman have offered a vision for a new Chiefs stadium in Wyandotte County — at the northeast corner of the I-435 and I-70 interchange — complete with photos and pictures they shared with The Star.

Before I go any further, let me add some critical context at the top, because it is the very kind of context often omitted as some pretty pictures are shared across social media platforms.

I’ve told you who’s involved in this project.

Let me share who isn’t:

• The Chiefs

• The owners of the land on which the renderings sit. Much of the acreage is owned by the Breidenthal family, who could not be immediately reached for comment.

Those would be two parties vital in this conversation.

That demonstrates how early-stage this concept is. Heineman told The Star he is yet to engage in any conversations with the Chiefs about the proposal in Wyandotte County near the Legends. He said he plans to approach them.

“Everything I’ve seen around stadium design — that’s just conjecture, right?” he said. “They’re going to do what they want, and design it the way they want. …

“But I’m just trying to suggest something that can be multipurpose, something that has great access and great visibility and a lot of supporting infrastructure around it.”

If that sounds like a recruitment pitch, well, that’s because it is.

Think of it like this: It’s the first publicly known pitch for a move to Kansas.

Not the last.

Here’s a rendering showing the concept of what a new domed stadium for the Kansas City Chiefs might look like at the interchange of Interstates 70 and 435 in Kansas City, Kansas.Here’s a rendering showing the concept of what a new domed stadium for the Kansas City Chiefs might look like at the interchange of Interstates 70 and 435 in Kansas City, Kansas.

Here’s a rendering showing the concept of what a new domed stadium for the Kansas City Chiefs might look like at the interchange of Interstates 70 and 435 in Kansas City, Kansas.

After Jackson County voters rejected a 3/8th-cent sales tax to help fund a renovated Arrowhead Stadium and a new Royals stadium in the East Crossroads, you can bet a handful of developers in Kansas updated their dating profiles, hoping these two suddenly on-the-market teams would notice.

Last weekend, NFL Draft weekend, Chiefs CEO and chairman Clark Hunt echoed the sentiment the team shared before the failed vote: The Chiefs will expand their options to include the possibility of a new building at a new location.

That’s what Heineman and Manica are proposing: a possibility.

Heineman, a minority owner with Sporting Kansas City, and Manica, president of MANICA Architecture, might be the first to publicize their proposal with renderings, but there will be more trying to find ways to steer the Chiefs and Royals to new locations.

Here’s a rendering showing the concept of what a new domed stadium for the Kansas City Chiefs might look like at the interchange of Interstates 70 and 435 in Kansas City, Kansas.Here’s a rendering showing the concept of what a new domed stadium for the Kansas City Chiefs might look like at the interchange of Interstates 70 and 435 in Kansas City, Kansas.

Here’s a rendering showing the concept of what a new domed stadium for the Kansas City Chiefs might look like at the interchange of Interstates 70 and 435 in Kansas City, Kansas.

And that’s true on both sides of the state line, particularly if potential suitors are led to believe the teams are once more listening to options.

They will be comfortable preempting answers to key questions: Are the teams ready to turn their attention to a move to Kansas? Would that option be more enticing than whatever the city of Kansas City’s attempt to keep the teams might entail? Even if less likely, will there will be an alternative route through Jackson County after one voted failed?

That is far from an exhaustive list.

Some Kansas lawmakers are attempting to tip the scales of those replies, though, with a measure put forward by state Rep. Sean Tarwater for a steroid-induced version of the Kansas Sales Tax and Revenue (STAR) bond program that they say could fully finance a stadium for the teams.

That’s the legislative measure on hiatus for now, though not permanently.

A proposal that’s moving forward in the meantime: Heineman and Manica have placed the hypothetical stadium at a location — which, once again, they do not own — and provided the Chiefs with an attractive view of what life elsewhere could look like.

Here’s a rendering showing the concept of what a new domed stadium for the Kansas City Chiefs might look like at the interchange of Interstates 70 and 435 in Kansas City, Kansas.Here’s a rendering showing the concept of what a new domed stadium for the Kansas City Chiefs might look like at the interchange of Interstates 70 and 435 in Kansas City, Kansas.

Here’s a rendering showing the concept of what a new domed stadium for the Kansas City Chiefs might look like at the interchange of Interstates 70 and 435 in Kansas City, Kansas.

Heineman joined the Privitera family in attempting to sell the Royals on the East Crossroads site, where the family owned the former Kansas City Star press pavilion. That’s the site the Royals took to the voting booth on April 2.

Heineman said he has attempted to purchase the Wyandotte County land for his latest Chiefs proposal, but he has not been successful, or at least he has not been successful yet.

The renderings circulated Tuesday night also include the Chiefs’ practice facility, which currently resides in the west end of the parking lot of the Truman Sports Complex that houses Arrowhead and Kauffman stadiums.

The Heineman/Manica sales pitch includes the aforementioned aesthetics and accessibility of the location. With a domed stadium, the complex could be seen as a fit for major events — such as Super Bowls, Final Fours, College Football Playoff games — that Arrowhead has not.

Heineman and Manica’s renderings include a translucent roof on the stadium, which Heineman said would allow for natural grass with the assistance of grow lights.

Most notably, they entail construction of an entirely new building, which the Chiefs previously estimated would cost upwards of $3 billion.

Would STAR bonds cover the bill? That’s to be determined.

A fitting phrase, because it covers the context within the two teams’ plans.

To be determined.



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