How does snow get removed from Arrowhead Stadium in the winter?

Posted at 10:26 AM, Nov 27, 2018
and last updated 2019-01-11 11:43:56-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs are having one of their most exciting seasons ever. If the team can finish strong and secure home playoff games in January, there’s a good chance that ice and snow could be a factor. 

After a snowfall or winter storm, it’s a major undertaking to make sure the parking lots, sidewalks, seats and aisles at Arrowhead Stadium are safe for the best fans in the NFL. 

Arrowhead employees do not handle snow removal outside of the stadium. Martz Brothers, based in Kansas City, Kansas, is responsible for clearing the 200 acres of parking lots and 14 acres of sidewalks at the stadium. 

Martz Brothers employees use eight 20-foot shovels to remove the snow. These shovels dwarf a typical city plow. It takes 30 minutes to attach one of the shovels to a truck and two hours to transport each shovel to the stadium.

Every winter event is unique, so there is a unique strategy to tackling each one. For a noon kickoff game, fans begin parking outside the gates by 4:30 a.m. Martz Brothers must have everything cleared and be out of the lots by the time the gates open. 

If snow or ice will be an ongoing issue on game day, Martz Brothers employees still need to leave when fans arrive for safety reasons.

On a game day, Chiefs employees use a top-down process to remove snow inside the stadium. Crews start in the upper bowl and work their way down, removing the snow from the chairs and rows. 

In the lower-level sections, the snow is pushed to the aisles using large metal chutes. The snow travels down those chutes to the field, where it piles up and is then hauled out of the stadium. 

In the upper bowl, workers have large dumpsters at the bottom of the level where the snow is piled. That snow is then dumped down to the lower level, transported to the field and hauled away.

The entire process takes at least eight hours. Much like outside the stadium, employees inside must stop removing snow when fans arrive due to safety concerns, even if it’s still snowing.