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Column - Brad Kuhbander

This Week in Chiefs History

Feb 22, 2008, 9:10:23 AM by Brad Kuhbander

arrturfFEBRUARY 16 – 22

When Arrowhead Stadium opened in 1972, AstroTurf was the playing surface of choice. However, during the ‘90s, many NFL club’s made the transition from artificial turf to natural grass. On February 16, 1994 the Kansas City Chiefs made an announcement that would change to look of Arrowhead Stadium. They would take out the AstroTurf and install a natural grass playing surface in time for the 1994 season.

“Many factors were taken into consideration including improved drainage techniques, various technological advances in the development of new grass systems and various other uses for the 78,000-seat facility,” Chiefs President Carl Peterson said at the time of the announcement.

“Lamar Hunt has been supportive of this decision and agreed that the overriding criteria should be what the organization considers to be best of our football operation,” Peterson continued. “Boiling it all down, this decision was based on that premise.”

Chiefs head groundskeeper Andre Bruce and his staff went to work to convert the playing surface. First they had to rip out the old artificial surface and the asphalt underneath the green carpet. Then they had to grade to the ground with a special topsoil to ensure a good base and growing foundation. Finally, the grounds crew laid the flush-green sod as the new natural grass playing surface took shape in July.

The work was completed in time for the 1994 season as the Chiefs posted a 9-7 record that year. Kansas City won its first regular season contest on the new playing surface as QB Joe Montana led his club to a 24-17 victory against his former team, the San Francisco 49ers (9/11/94).

The opinions offered in this column do not necessarily reflect those of the Kansas City Chiefs.

A eight-year veteran of the Chiefs, Kuhbander is Kansas City's Manager of Football Information. As the club's in-house "stats guru," he coordinates statistical research for the club's coaching staff and executives, in addition to performing a variety of other functions for the Public Relations Department. Every week he contributes a "Stat of the Week" and a "This Week in Chiefs History" segment for