Chiefs

Vendor hopes to deliver old Arrowhead seats to fans before end of Chiefs’ preseason

Work continues on replacing seats at Arrowhead Stadium

As part of $11.5 million in upgrades, the Kansas City Chiefs are replacing most of the seats in the upper deck of Arrowhead Stadium. Aerial footage shows crews working on seats inside the stadium.
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As part of $11.5 million in upgrades, the Kansas City Chiefs are replacing most of the seats in the upper deck of Arrowhead Stadium. Aerial footage shows crews working on seats inside the stadium.

Jackson County is set to approve a contract that would allow fans to buy used Arrowhead Stadium seats, perhaps before the end of the Chiefs’ preseason next month.

Under the proposal, seats with Arrowhead logos on their metal end caps would sell for $399 a pair, double seats with no logo ends would go for $299 and singles for $199.

For a $20 up charge, customers could request specific seat numbers, and Jackson County residents will have the first crack at the seats.

The proposed contract, which needs approval from the county legislature, would guarantee the county $75,000 up front to cover the hauling and storage charges it’s incurred since components from 30,000 seats were removed from the stadium parking lot in April. Afterwards, the county and its vendor would split net proceeds for the seat sales evenly.

By one estimate, the county would garner $266,675 even if just 3,150 seating units were sold as singles and doubles. Plans are to use that money to make county parks more accessible, and perhaps for other projects..

A partnership between Schneider Industries Inc. of St. Louis and S&S Seating Inc. of Indiana outscored two other companies bidding for the opportunity to sell the seats, which the Chiefs removed from Arrowhead’s upper deck as part of a renovation project. The companies plan to haul the seating components from their current home in an Olathe storage lot to Indiana, where they will be reassembled.

Initially, the Chiefs had intended to sell some of the seats to the team’s fans and whatever was left over was to be sold to recycling companies. But the county intervened, insisting that taxpayers owned the seating and nearly everything else in Arrowhead and neighboring Kauffman Stadium.

Initially, some county legislators were skeptical of County Executive Frank White’s proposal to sell the seating. Dan Tarwater, for one, said he was concerned that the county had no expertise in that area, and he worried that storage costs would exceed whatever the county earned from the sales.

But Schneider and S&S put those concerns to rest in their proposal, and Tarwater gave credit to the White administration for getting it done.

“I think it would be great,” Tarwater said Thursday. “If they can sell some, wonderful. I’ve always wanted for fans to get a chance at getting some.”

The vendors stressed their experience removing and selling for a profit seating from stadiums that had been torn down or renovated.

Among others on that list: Candlestick Park in San Francisco, Tigers Stadium in Detroit and the former Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

Monday will be the proposal’s first introduction before the county legislature. Under normal circumstances it would be assigned to a committee and not come up for final passage until later this month. But to save on incurring any more storage charges, White is asking that the measure be approved right away. The vendor also wants quick approval so that seats can be marketed during the football season.

The seats will come with all brackets needed to attach them to a wall or stand on their own. The cost of shipping is also included in the final price, but the contract also calls for the vendors to find a site in town where buyers could pick them up.

Any seats not sold to individual buyers would be sold in bulk to stadium operators who need places for their fans to sit, or be sold to recycling companies.

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Mike Hendricks is a member of The Star’s investigations and watchdog reporting team. Send tips and story ideas in confidence by email to mhendricks@kcstar.com, Twitter direct message @kcmikehendricks, or anonymously via Signal encrypted message at 816-234-4738
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