Are you ready for some football?
Could there be a Monday Night (or Sunday night) Party on the horizon for The New Arrowhead in 2010?
History says yes.
The NFL won’t release the full 2010 NFL regular season schedule until sometime next month, but that didn’t keep prime time football from being the focal point of many conversations at the 40th Annual 101 Awards Banquet earlier this month. There’s no doubt that NFL club’s have long ago started their posturing for prime time games in 2010.
MNF play-by-play man Mike Tirico was on hand at the Westin Crown Center for the 101’s to accept the Lamar Hunt Award, on behalf of Monday Night Football. His presence created a bit of a MNF stir and his words brought the prospect to life.
“It’s great to be in Kansas City,” Tirico said. “However, I will say that it would be better to be back here in Kansas City on a Monday night in the fall. Hopefully, if not this year or next year, sometime soon that will happen because we miss Arrowhead desperately and there is no noise and passion and excitement like place in the NFL.
“We look forward to that Monday night and hearing Hank Williams, Jr.’s anthem, watching fireworks at Arrowhead and showing the nation the greatest football atmosphere that there ever has been,” Tirico concluded.
Arrowhead hasn’t hosted a prime time football game since Denver visited on Thanksgiving Night in 2006 (NFL Network Thursday Night Football). Back then, Jake Plummer was both still in football and the Broncos starting quarterback (that game was actually Plummer’s final NFL start). It’s been even longer since the Chiefs hosted a Monday Night Football contest. That actually occurred on 11/22/04 vs. New England.
In fact, the Chiefs 27-19 defeat at the hands of the Patriots represents Arrowhead’s only MNF game in the past nine seasons. That’s far too long and the fact that Kansas City has logged four or less victories in three consecutive seasons wouldn’t exactly increase the probabilities for prime time football to return to Arrowhead in 2010.
But there’s a wild card for next season that gives the Chiefs an edge, a historic edge. That wildcard is The New Arrowhead.
The NFL schedulers have historically been generous with the national spotlight to franchise’s unveiling a new or renovated stadium. Since 2000, 14 teams have opened a new or renovated stadium. Ten of those 14 teams went on to debut their stadiums in prime time national television during their first or second home contest.
10 teams that unveiled new/renovated stadiums on prime time in weeks one or two…
2009 – Dallas (NEW – Cowboys Stadium)
- 1st home game = SNF Week 2 (NBC) – 9/20/09 vs. NYG
Result: Loss – 33-31
Notes: Tynes, 37-yard game winner as time expired
- 2nd home game = MNF Week 3 (ESPN) – 9/28/09 vs. CAR
Result: Win – 21-7
Notes: Newman, 27-yard INT TD return late in 4th quarter
2008 – Colts (NEW – Lucas Oil Stadium)
- 1st home game = SNF Week 1(NBC) – 9/7/08 vs. CHI
Result: Loss – 29-13
Notes: Bears score final 14 points
2006 – Saints (renovated – Superdome)
- 1st home game = MNF Week 3 (ESPN) – 9/25/06 vs. ATL
Result: Win – 23-3
Notes: Three Carney field goals
2003 – Bears (renovated – Soldier Field)
- 1st home game = MNF Week 4 (ABC) – 9/29/03 vs. GB
Result: Loss – 38-23
Notes: Three Favre TD passes
2003 – Eagles (NEW – Lincoln Financial Field)
- 1st home game = MNF Week 1 (ABC) – 9/8/03 vs. TB
Result: Loss – 17-0
Notes: Eagles – 245 total net yards
2002 – Seahawks (NEW – Qwest Field)
- 2nd home game = SNF Week 4 (ESPN) – 9/29/02 vs. MIN
Result: Win – 48-23
Notes: Shaun Alexander – 139 rushing yards/four TDs
2002 – Texans (NEW – Reliant Stadium)
- 1st home game = SNF Week 1(ESPN) – 9/8/02 vs. DAL
Result: Win – 19-10
Notes: Quincy Carter starting Dallas QB
2002 – Patriots (NEW – Gillette Stadium)
- 1st home game = MNF Week 1(ABC) – 9/9/02 vs. PIT
Result: Win – 30-14
Notes: Damon Huard backup Patriots QB
2001 – Broncos (NEW – INVESCO)
- 1st home game = MNF Week 1(ABC) – 9/10/01 vs. NYG
Result: Win – 31-20
Notes: Three Brian Griese TD passes
2001 – Steelers (NEW – Heinz Field)
- 2nd home game = MNF Week 6 (ABC) – 10/29/01 – vs. TEN
Result: Win – 34-7
Notes: QB Kordell Stewart – 110.4 QB rating
The history of new/renovated stadiums in the NFL has typically translated into a prime time football showcase in year one. If selected in 2010, we all know that Chiefs fans and The New Arrowhead will make both Kansas City and the National Football League proud.
Additional notes that factor into equation: The Jets and Giants will play in a renovated Meadowlands in 2010, giving The New Arrowhead some prime time competition.
Also, an Oakland double header could be a dream scenario for the first Monday Night Football game of the season (September 13th). The Athletics are in town to play the Royals that day and a night cap with the Raiders at Arrowhead would be great for both sports. The problem, however, might be in scheduling as the A's and Royals are currently scheduled for a 7:10 PM first pitch. Moving that game to the afternoon could prove difficult as Oakland hosts Boston on the prior Sunday.