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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Chiefs’, Browns’ Stadium Renderings: Familiar Looking and … Premature?

  • New renderings and funding proposals begin to take shape long before any stadium deals are finalized.
  • The new Chiefs’ renderings look similar to prior Manica Architecture projects.

There is nothing even remotely close to a done deal on potential new stadiums for the Browns and Chiefs, but that hasn’t stopped either team and their partners from putting out specifics on what those possible venues would look like and how they would be funded. 

Less than a month after a stinging ballot-box defeat in Jackson County, Mo., on public funding for proposed Arrowhead Stadium renovations, the Chiefs are now pursuing a facility plan separately from its current Truman Sports Complex neighbor, MLB’s Royals. That plan could involve a move across the border into Kansas, and state legislators there are trying to develop a bond issue that would fund new stadiums for both teams. 

The measure wasn’t brought up for a vote before Kansas lawmakers adjourned their annual legislative session late Tuesday. But it’s expected that Gov. Laura Kelly will call a special session to bring back the legislature to pass a new tax plan, and it’s possible the stadium matter could be revisited.

Long before those political machinations are resolved or a new stadium site is finalized, though, Manica Architecture released a set of images depicting a potential domed stadium for the Chiefs in Kansas. 

“The design concept is inspired by the form and spirit of our historic Arrowhead Stadium, but it offers more diversity in the variety of experiences it will offer its fans,” said David Manica, president and owner of Manica Architecture. 

In Cleveland, a similarly accelerated plan is unfolding as the Browns decide whether to renovate Cleveland Browns Stadium along the downtown lakefront or build a new, suburban facility in Brook Park, Ohio. Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam previously indicated they wanted to take until about mid-2025 to decide. 

But recent talks between the Haslams and local officials have pointed to a team already asking for public support covering half the cost of either facility option, a figure that would come to $1.2 billion in funding toward a new stadium or $500 million toward the renovation of the new facility. Those emerging discussions have been joined by the release of renderings of the Brook Park option. 

In both instances, the distribution of the renderings show the accelerating power of these drawings to help stir interest toward a stadium project, even in its most embryonic stages. 

Doesn’t That Look Familiar?

Beyond the surprisingly early nature of the latest Chiefs drawings, another notion quickly surfaced: their visual similarity to prior renderings Manica did for the Bears, as well as prior efforts at Allegiant Stadium in Nevada, a forthcoming facility for the Titans, and an aborted stadium project in California for the Raiders and Chargers. 

For Manica, though, the Chiefs represent a hometown project as the company’s U.S. headquarters are in Kansas City. And much like those other facilities, the domed facility for the Chiefs is designed to allow the K.C. area to pursue major events such as the Super Bowl, Final Four, and College Football Playoff—all of which are currently out of reach to the market.

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