KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the first time ever, Arrowhead Stadium will have a naming rights sponsor.
The Chiefs announced Thursday that its home will be called GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium beginning with the 2021 season, which will be the team's 50th season at Arrowhead.
GEHA stands for the Government Employees Health Association. Its headquarters are in Lee's Summit.
The company provides medical and dental plans for federal employees and retirees as well as for the Chiefs organization since 2019.
"At this point in our history and until really our partnership with the Kansas City Chiefs, we've been really a best-kept secret and we're looking to change that," GEHA Chief Growth Officer Shannon Horgan told 41 Action News.
The Chiefs didn't disclose Thursday how much GEHA is paying to be a part of history, but it's been in the works for a while. The deal runs through the 2030 season, which is also the length of the Chiefs' current stadium lease.
There were rumors last summer about GEHA nearing a deal for naming rights before the 2020 season, but the Chiefs shot down that speculation.
Now that it's official, Chiefs Kingdom got a chance to weigh in Thursday evening.
"I don’t really know them; I don't know that GEHA," Chiefs fan Jonathan Ryan said. "But I mean, Arrowhead is a lot more catchy."
Breona Martin, another Chiefs fan, agreed, "It’s a little weird. I think you should just keep it original, keep it to how we've always had it. Anything more is a little extra."
Chiefs President Mark Donovan said the timing and the partner are the right fit for the naming rights deal in the stadium's history. He also acknowledged the importance of keeping the Arrowhead name.
"From the get go we said this is a field naming rights opportunity," he said. "Arrowhead will always be part of the name."
Fans seemed appreciative of that and seem to understand stadium naming rights are simply part of the modern business of sports.
"Everybody needs a corporate sponsor, right?" Chiefs fan Walter McCarty said. "That's what everybody's going towards, so I guess they got one now."
The roll out of the new name is underway and signs announcing the change will be omnipresent around GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium when Kansas City kicks off the 2021 season in September.