Stadium Face-Off: Arrowhead vs. Levi's

Matt Schneiderman imageMatt Schneiderman  •  

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Click the infographic to download super-bowl-stadiums-comparison On Sunday, the Chiefs and 49ers will square off on the gridiron to determine the best team in football. And while most pundits are comparing the players’ skills and coaches’ strategies (with a few “What’s the Better Tourist Destination, KC or SF?” pieces thrown in), we’re more interested in how their respective stadiums stack up. In the buildup to the big game, check out our quick breakdown of the Chiefs’ Arrowhead vs. Levi’s Stadium, home to the 49ers.

Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City Chiefs)

Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Capacity: 76,416
Size: 1.64 million square feet
Opening date: August 1972
Age (in years): 47 (fifth-oldest in NFL)
Construction cost: $150 million (1968-1972) plus $375 million (2007-2010)
Construction duration: 4-plus years
Restroom fixtures: 1,172
Claim to fame: Holds Guinness Book record for loudest stadium
arrowhead2 At 47 years old, the Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium is one of the league’s oldest. And though it lacks a roof, it’s still one of the loudest, if not the loudest, stadium in the NFL.

From 2008 to 2010, Turner Construction completed one million square feet of improvements, half of which were renovation and half expansion — all while the stadium remained open and operational for 70,000 fans during Chiefs' home games. At its peak, as many as 900 workers were on-site each day, with $175 million of work completed in just seven-and-a-half months.

“Many US cities have replaced their aging stadiums with shiny new venues, but Kansas City chose to expand and renovate Arrowhead instead,” says Randy Braun, Principal and Senior PM for engineering company Walter P Moore which worked on the renovation. “The upgrade occurred without impacting games and was completed within budget. Fans and national media were delighted at the respectful way the stadium was restored to compete with the most modern venues in amenities while preserving its revered seating bowl and overall game day experience.”

The renovation, including the reinforcement of the structure’s concrete and additional weather-proofing, ensures Arrowhead will be standing strong for a long, long time.

A recent update to its scoreboard made it the first HDR video display in pro football, and with a 9,000-nit brightness rating, it’s viewable to fans even under noon sunlight.

And as far as we know, it’s the only NFL stadium to have been recreated in gingerbread.

Levi’s Stadium (San Francisco 49ers)

Location: Santa Clara, California
Capacity: 68,500, expandable to 75,000
Size: 1.85 million square feet
Opening date: August 2014
Age (in years): 5
Construction cost: $1.27 billion
Construction duration: 819 days
Restroom fixtures: 1,135
Claim to fame: Touted as the greenest stadium in the US
levis2 Located in the Silicon Valley (and about 43 miles from downtown San Francisco), the 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium claims several superlatives:

  • First new-construction NFL stadium to achieve LEED Gold certification
  • Best publicly accessible Wi-Fi network for a sports facility anywhere in the US
  • Delivered under a first-of-its-kind hybrid design-build model
  • The NFL’s fastest-constructed stadium
  • First stadium with both a living roof (containing 40 different types of vegetation) and solar photovoltaic panels

Turner Construction, who coordinated the work, reports the stadium required 33 million pounds of steel, six million pounds of rebar, and 20,000 square feet of solar panels to power the building.

Is it any wonder why 2016’s Super Bowl L took place at Levi’s Stadium?

And the winner is...

As a mostly NorCal-based company, Fieldwire’s staff allegiance trends red and gold. That said, we can certainly appreciate the thoughtful and relatively inexpensive construction and renovation work that went into making Arrowhead one of the NFL’s premier destinations. Here’s to an exciting Super Bowl and a competitive rivalry between these two teams, cities, and stadiums for years to come.

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