KC’s Arrowhead Stadium Getting New Name Before World Cup Games
Kansas City getting some World Cup games as a host city in 2026 is a big deal. The City of Kansas City projects there will be 620 million dollars in incremental economic activity due to World Cup matches. yet, there's one unsavory, ridiculous aspect to hosting World Cup games.
For The Win is reporting that FIFA, Federation Internationale de Football Association, which governs the World Cup has a policy to change stadium names so non-FIFA sponsors won't benefit from the sponsorship with World Cup Crowds.
To me, it's a dumb plan. I guess it might work with international fans descending on our cities for the cup games, but you just know, the locals aren't going to start calling AT&T Stadium, Dallas Stadium, the FIFA name for Jerry's World. Come to think of it, I don't know how many folks in Dallas call AT&T Stadium AT&T Stadium either, but it's just stupid.
Mostly what FIFA did was rename the stadiums after the cities they serve, but it doesn't always match up. For example, Gillette Stadium, home of the Patriots in Foxborough, will be known a Boston Stadium. Guess what Boston is 30 miles away from Foxborough.
The stadium hosting the World Cup Final, MetLife Stadium, in New Jersey, will be known as New York New Jersey Stadium. Yeah, no respecting New Yorker, soccer fan or not is going to refer to MetLife Stadium as New York New Jersey Stadium.
This brings us to Arrowhead Stadium. The Stadium's official name is GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Yet, I'm not sure anyone outside of the Chiefs and their radio network says the whole name. I've never uttered the whole name when referring to the stadium.
FIFA could have easily just dropped the GEHA Field part of the name and left the Arrowhead Stadium name alone. As For The Win points out Arrowhead Stadium wouldn't have broken FIFA's rules against giving non-FIFA sponsors publicity. But no, in their infinite wisdom FIFA will refer to our beloved football stadium as Kansas City Stadium.
I like what the Chiefs and Jackson County, or whoever is involved with managing the stadium did. They got GEHA's cash, gave them some high visibility coverage during games and at the stadium, and managed to keep the historical name of the stadium. That's pretty cool.
Because honestly, there's nothing affectionate or fuzzy about AT&T Stadium, Gillette Stadium, SoFi Stadium, or any of the stadiums, arenas, and ballparks named after a brand. The actual building might be cool, historic, or a great place to watch a game but the corporate naming leaves a lot to be desired.
It's also obvious that one of two things happened when FIFA decided to rename the stadiums they're using. Either they chose the closest big city, so international fans wouldn't be confused. Or it's obvious it wasn't someone familiar with the United States wasn't doing the naming.
For example, a much better name for AT&T Stadium might have been Lone Star Stadium. MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, Liberty Stadium. Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia could have been Liberty Bell Stadium or Freedom Stadium.
Here in Kansas City, they could have just kept it Arrowhead Stadium. However, if they feel they have to rename it, what about Fountain Stadium, after our city's beautiful fountains? Or just Truman Stadium, after one of Missouri's favorite sons?
This leaves me with one question, is every city going to change all of the signage that gets you to the stadium, or will fans in town for the World Cup just have to figure out that Arrowhead Stadium and the Turman Sports Complex = Kansas City Stadium?
I certainly hope NO city changes any signage. Not that I want visitors to our country or any of our fine cities to have a hard time getting around. I just think changing stadium names is stupid. Almost as stupid as the corporate naming rights are to start with.