In the wake of sports’ latest stadium naming-rights contract — the Chicago White Sox changing the name of U.S. Cellular Field to Guaranteed Rate Field — Chiefs president Mark Donovan used the team’s annual kickoff luncheon Friday to address the long-discussed possibility that Arrowhead Stadium might be renamed someday.
“A number of different teams both in the NFL and outside of the NFL have announced deals recently,” Donovan said. “As I’ve said publicly, we have been in discussions, multiple discussions, over the last six or seven years. Some of those discussions have gotten to the point of actual negotiations, but the right deal hasn’t made sense for either side.”
Donovan said the Chiefs are continuing to have discussions, and that there are more “today” than “there have been in the past.”
“We’re one of the most iconic venues out there that doesn’t have a naming-rights deal,” Donovan said.
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This is not the first time Donovan has mentioned selling the naming rights to the field at Arrowhead Stadium. At the NFL’s annual meeting in March, Donovan told The Star that fans can rest easy that the word “Arrowhead” will be incorporated into any new name change, a notion he reinforced once again Friday.
“We said pretty vocally and consistently that we’d be looking for a partner that makes sense for Kansas City and a partner that understands the importance of keeping the Arrowhead name,” Donovan said. “We think it’s part of the building.”
What the Chiefs are looking to do, Donovan said, is something similar to what’s been in Denver for the last several years, when the Broncos’ stadium has been called Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium and Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
“That’s what we’re in discussions on,” Donovan said. “There’s nothing to report today. Those discussions and those negotiations typically take longer than your average deal, but we are in discussions as we speak.”