Chiefs Look To Buck Recent Attendance Decline, Formally Submit Bid For NFL Draft
The Chiefs ranked ninth in NFL attendance last year with an average of 73,328 fans per game, "despite being one of the NFL’s smallest markets," but the numbers "do show a downward trend, miniscule as it might be," according to Terez Paylor of the K.C. STAR. Despite the Chiefs' success the last four years under coach Andy Reid -- three playoff appearances -- attendance has "dropped a tad" each year since '13, when an average of 75,359 fans trekked to Arrowhead Stadium. Chiefs Chair & CEO Clark Hunt said, "I don’t know that there is a silver bullet on that, and the at-home experience is going to continue to get better. That’s just the nature of technology." Clark added that the "challenge right now" is to "make sure the team’s in-stadium experience is ... as good or compelling as the at-home experience, and unique in certain respects." Paylor writes to that end, the Chiefs have an "advantage some other markets don’t." The club's tailgating experience is an "entrenched staple" in K.C. and "something that continues to draw fans to Arrowhead, even in today’s premium TV era." That is "part of the reason the Chiefs created a new viewing area at Arrowhead over the offseason." With a "capacity of about 100 fans, the new viewing area is located just steps away from the Chiefs' locker room and 50-yard-line entrance to the field." Other NFL teams have "similar features in their stadiums," including the Cowboys and Vikings. Hunt said that with 13 years remaining on the Chiefs' lease, he will "continue to monitor exciting features in new stadiums and explore more ways to upgrade Arrowhead" (K.C. STAR, 8/16).
BRING IT ON: In K.C., Blair Kerkhoff reported the Chiefs, K.C. Sports Commission and Visit KC have "submitted an 'expression of interest'" in holding the NFL Draft during the period of '19-23. Hunt: "Any time we can bring a national event to Kansas City, that’s something we want to do." Kerkhoff noted K.C.'s bid "includes three options for sites: Union Station, the World War I Museum and Kauffman Center would be combined for one option; Sprint Center and the Power & Light District for another; and the Truman Sports Complex as the third." Hunt: "We’re so glad the NFL made the decision to move the draft out of New York and rotate it. ... Hopefully in the next three, four or five years, we’ll get it." Kerkhoff notes K.C. Sports Commission President Kathy Nelson "attended the drafts in Chicago and Philadelphia and was convinced it would thrive" in K.C. (KANSASCITY.com, 8/15).