With a spot to Super Bowl LVII on the line, both the Cincinnati Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs will do whatever they can to win the AFC Championship. But with the two teams playing in Missouri on Sunday, will the Chiefs have an advantage over the Bengals due to how their stadium was designed?
It’s no surprise that any team can have a home-field advantage, but the Chiefs just might have something that could really give them an edge over the Bengals.
No, we aren’t talking about that Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes has had a longer starting position in the NFL than Bengals’ quarterback Joe Burrow or the fact that Mahomes has double the amount of touchdowns or passing yards as Burrow. The edge comes from the actual stadium and in Arrowhead’s design.
"Arrowhead is one of the toughest environments to play in," Bengals Head Coach Zac Taylor said in a press conference Wednesday about Sunday's upcoming game. "It's a loud place."
The design of GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium
Located in Kansas City, Missouri, GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium listed its capacity as being able to host 76,416 fans. This puts Arrowhead as having the fourth-largest capacity out of all NFL stadiums, listed just behind the Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium.
Populous, the design firm behind Arrowhead, says it sets the standard with its modern sight lines and single-purpose design. Arrowhead Stadium was originally built in 1972, but Populous said with its 2010 renovations, more space was added for more fans.
The bowl seating design ensures that every fan has an unobstructed view and voice.
That allows sounds to carry at the stadium, making it loud. And with the Chiefs’ boisterous fans, it’s not just regular loud; it’s record-setting at Arrowhead Stadium.
How loud is it at Arrowhead Stadium?
In 2014, Arrowhead Stadium set a Guinness World Record for its stadium noise against the New England Patriots. The fans were so loud that they registered the sound at 142.2 decibels. That’s louder than a jet plane taking off.
The Chiefs fans set the record twice that year, beating out previous record-holding Seattle Seahawks fans.
Former players and coaches still say that, to this day, the fans at Arrowhead make it the most intimidating stadium.
Players in the past have even asked the referees to quiet the crowd.
In 1990, the Chiefs took on the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead. Broncos quarterback John Elway was at their 1-yard line and had to stop play to ask the refs to quiet the crowd.
"Again, I have asked the defense to help lower the crowd noise," the referee announced during that game against the Broncos. "Any further crowd noise problem will result in a charged timeout against Kansas City."
"This is when the mantra behind the idea that Chiefs fans don’t come to watch games, they come to participate at them was born," the Kansas City Chiefs said about the infamous game.
This was the game when Arrowhead earned its fame recognition, Chiefs reporter Matt McMullen recounted.
And while yes, the Bengals and Burrow have played at Arrowhead before – even for the same title almost a year ago to the day - we can’t help but think that that’s why Chiefs fans will be even louder to help their team earn a spot in the Super Bowl.