kansas city crossroads murals
Crossroads Kansas City

The Kansas City Chiefs have received all the hype in recent years. 

They’ve been to the Super Bowl four times in the last five years, and the team has won three of those games. 

Most recently, they won against the San Francisco 49ers in 2024.

Those who have made the trip to the heartland to watch the Chiefs play at Arrowhead Stadium have found themselves taking a second look at their map as they make their way to the stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

The question has come up, “Why are the Kansas City Chiefs in Missouri? Why not Kansas?”

It’s confusing, right?

Well, us Kansas City locals are helping you make sense of it.

Kansas City Chiefs street mural
Kansas City Chiefs

The History of the Kansas City Chiefs

The story of the Kansas City Chiefs begins in 1960 – and it was a long and unexpected journey to their current home at Arrowhead Stadium.

The AFL Start in Texas

The story begins not in Kansas City but in Dallas, Texas. 

The franchise was originally founded in 1960 as the Dallas Texans by businessman Lamar Hunt, who was also a co-founder of the American Football League (AFL). 

Despite early success on the field, the Texans struggled to compete for attention with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys in the crowded Texas sports market.

The Move to Kansas City

In search of a city that could fully embrace and support an AFL team, Hunt considered various options. 

The decision was made in 1963 to relocate the team to Kansas City, a move prompted by the city’s enthusiastic commitment to support professional football. 

Kansas City’s mayor at the time, Harold Roe Bartle, played a pivotal role in convincing Hunt to move his franchise to Missouri. 

Bartle, a larger-than-life figure known for his dynamic personality and leadership within the community, promised Hunt strong support from the city. 

He even assured Hunt that the team would play in the newly constructed Municipal Stadium, which could hold more attendees than any AFL stadium at the time.

Municipal Stadium

The Chiefs, under the visionary ownership of Lamar Hunt, enjoyed significant success, including a victory in Super Bowl IV. 

These formative years took place at their home field of Municipal Stadium. 

The stadium was originally built for the minor league baseball team, Kansas City Blues.

It later become home to the negro baseball league’s Kansas City Monarchs, and then the Kansas City Chiefs.

The stadium’s layout for football, with its unconventional east-west orientation and temporary stands, added a unique flavor to the Chiefs’ games.

Eventually, Arrowhead Stadium was built in 1972 as the home for the Kansas City Chiefs. 

The last football game ever played at Municipal Stadium was a memorable one. 

On Christmas Day, 1971, Kansas City’s Municipal Stadium was the stage for the NFL playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Miami Dolphins. 

This game went down in history as the longest NFL game ever played, stretching into double overtime and lasting an unprecedented 82 minutes and 40 seconds.

Arrowhead Stadium

Arrowhead Stadium is located southeast of downtown Kansas City, Missouri. 

Known for its raucous atmosphere, Arrowhead Stadium is considered one of the loudest stadiums in the world.

A Legacy Beyond Borders

While the Kansas City Chiefs may play their games in Missouri, their influence extends far beyond the state’s borders. 

The team represents not just a city or a state, but a region united by a love of football and community spirit. 

Whether in Kansas or Missouri, the Chiefs are a symbol of Midwestern pride.