Photo of Arrowhead Stadium’s Parking Lot Sparks Outrage – “Shocking Level of Neglect”

By: Lauren | Published: Apr 30, 2024

A recent post on the popular social media site X, formerly Twitter, has brought people’s attention to an almost unbelievably large parking lot in Kansas City.

Many are now arguing that the lot shows a “shocking level of neglect” for the well-being of local residents and that, more than anything, it’s simply a bad usage of land.

The Parking Lot at Arrowhead Stadium

Arrowhead Stadium sits in Kansas City, Missouri, and is home to the beloved NFL team, the Kansas City Chiefs. At capacity, the stadium holds a whopping 76,416 people, which means it is the fourth-largest NFL stadium in the country.

View of the Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City when empty

Source: NFL

When the Chiefs play at home, tens of thousands of fans make their way to the stadium, most often in their cars. Therefore, the giant parking lot around the stadium holds 19,000 cars and 400 buses. Now, a photograph of the parking lot has gone viral for its immense size.


The Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City Parking Rivals Manhattan

In order to show just how large the parking lot at the Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City is, X user @pushtheneedle created a side-by-side comparison with the island of Manhattan.

Aerial view of the Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City with the parking lot surrounded with yellow lines/Aerial view of Lower Manhattan in New York City with the outline of the Arrowhead Stadium in yellow

Source: @pushtheneedle/X

The user wrote, “the parking lot at arrowhead stadium in kansas city would take up most of lower manhattan.”

Direct Comparison Shows Just How Much the Land Can Offer

Of course, this kind of direct comparison shows exactly how much could fit into the parking lot. Lower Manhattan is home to more than 60,000 people, hundreds of office buildings, small businesses, food, shops, and much more.

Aerial view of lower Manhattan in New York City alongside a photo of the parking lot at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City

Source: @pushtheneedle/X

However, the vast majority of Americans who commented on the X post didn’t propose another Manhattan in Kansas City. Though, they did have a few other ideas of how the land could be better used.

Improving the Value of the Arrowhead Parking Lot

One X user wrote their disappointment and idea for the space, saying, “It’s a shocking level of neglect. Imagine a small development with retail and some apartments, a hotel, and a pavilion for pitmasters and food trucks on game days.”

Aerial view of a parking lot with cars and tens set up with food and products for sale

Source: iStock

They continued, “It would fit into a small amount of parking but dramatically improve the gameday experience and value of the area.”

This Kind of Parking Lot Could Even Be Used to Combat Climate Change

Of course, this plan does have a few flaws, mostly that the buildings would reduce the number of spaces on game day. Therefore, others say that there is a much better way to utilize the giant lot that won’t remove any spaces.

Digital illustration of several solar panels built in a parking lot

Source: Freepik

This solution would be to build a solar panel farm atop the parking lot. Rutgers University in New Jersey and several parking lots in France have already put similar plans in motion, and so far, they’re working wonderfully.


Cars Take Up Far Too Much Space

While some commenters offered their ideas for better ways to use the land beneath the parking lot at Arrowhead Stadium, others noted how the lot shines a spotlight on the incredible inefficiencies of passenger cars.

Aerial view of a large parking lot full of cars

Source: Freepik

One wrote, “It’s surprisingly difficult for a lot of Americans to wrap their head around this fact. Car-centric design and development [are] very quickly about [to come back] to bite us.” And another explained, “It’s a great case study as to how much space people take up, vs. how much space their cars take up.”


Cars and Parking Lots Are Bad for the Environment

There’s no doubt that cars are bad for the environment, and when such a large number of vehicles are in one small area, it significantly increases the carbon pollution there.

Kids play outside in a park during the Fall

Source: Freepik

But many people don’t realize that parking lots also negatively affect the environment. Not only do parking lots allow for fewer green spaces, which significantly improve an area’s air quality, but they also accumulate heavy metals, sediment, and grease, which pollute the nearby water supplies.


There Are Solutions to This Common Reality

The truth is that Arrowhead’s Stadium is just one of hundreds of ginormous parking lots throughout the country. They are not only using up perfectly good land, but without solar panels, they’re also a blight on the environment.

Photograph inside a bus showing the seats with some passengers moving quickly

Source: Freepik

One X user noted that there is quite a simple solution to all of these problems rolled into one: Create a more user-friendly public transport system in the area. If buses were in place, the parking lot could be used for a myriad of other things, and most importantly, carbon emissions in the area would decrease significantly during football season.


Some Say the Parking Lot Could Be Multi-Purpose

Some argue that removing the large parking lots used for stadiums and other venues is wildly impractical, even if there were ample public transport options.

A photograph of several small white tents set up for a farmer’s market in a parking lot

Source: @LMVMA/X

However, many still say that something better can be done with the space. Because the spaces only fill one day a week on game day, on the other six days of the week, they could be used for something else. Farmers’ markets, pop-up events, and open community spaces are all viable but often ignored projects.


The Parking Lot at Arrowhead Stadium Won’t Change Any Time Soon

Although many complaints and even solid solutions were added to the original post, it’s highly unlikely that anything will change at the Arrowhead Stadium parking lot in the near future.

Aerial view of the Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, including the surrounding parking lot

Source: @KansasCityChiefs/YouTube

For now, the stadium still needs to provide sufficient parking spaces for those attending the weekly games, and it would take years before a change in the system could be imagined, let alone executed.


This Discussion Isn’t Really About a Parking Lot

However, this story isn’t really about Arrowhead Stadium and its giant parking lot but about the existing infrastructure in America and how it was built without any regard for the environment.

Protest for climate change with several people with cardboard signs and a megaphone

Source: Freepik

Now that people fully understand what humans have done to the planet and the consequences of those actions, it seems they are finally noticing the mistakes they’ve made and realize real changes need to be made.