In the sports world, stability can make everything significantly easier. The Kansas City Chiefs, it seems, are reaping the rewards of that reality. They have a promising young quarterback in Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid, an established coach, at the helm. There’s also plenty of stability upstairs in the owners’ box, too.
The Kansas City Chiefs, in one incarnation or another, have been taking the field since 1959. While plenty has changed since then, the team’s ownership has not.
Lamar Hunt and his football dream
Lamar Hunt was the son of an oil tycoon. After his time in college, he decided to use his fortune to get involved in the sport he loved. The NFL, however, had a different idea.
Hunt’s application for an expansion team was denied; his bid to purchase the Chicago Cardinals franchise also failed. With the NFL uninterested, Hunt had a new idea; if he couldn’t join the existing league, he would simply create his own. He did just that, teaming up with several other businessmen to found the American Football League.
Hunt became the owner of the Dallas Texans, but his problems were far from over. In 1960, the NFL came to town in the form of the Dallas Cowboys; despite Texas’ love of football, the city couldn’t sustain two professional franchises. Hunt started planning to move his team to greener pastures.
The birth of the Kansas City Chiefs
While Lamar Hunt considered relocating the Texans to Atlanta or Miami, Kansas City Mayor H. Roe Bartle had other ideas. He made the club an offer that they couldn’t refuse; the team headed north, adopting Bartle’s nickname of “Chief” as their new moniker.
With Hank Stram at the helm and Len Dawson under center, the Kansas Chiefs grew into a powerhouse. Their success didn’t go unnoticed; in the summer of 1966, Stram helped hammer out the details of the AFL-NFL merger. Fittingly, his Chiefs would appear in the first and fourth AFL–NFL World Championship Games. Kansas City would claim victory at their second attempt, and the game would later be known Stram’s suggested title: the Super Bowl.
While the Kansas City Chiefs started to struggle on the field after that, Hank Stram didn’t go anywhere. He dabbled in countless ventures, ranging from professional soccer to silver speculating, but never abandoned his beloved Chiefs. He remained the club’s owner until he died due to complications of prostate cancer in 2006.
The Hunt Family still owns the Kansas City Chiefs today
After Lamar Hunt died, the Kansas City Chiefs franchise was passed down to the rest of his family. Lamar’s wife, Norma, and their four children, Sharron, Lamar Jr., Daniel, and Clark, each have a stake in the club.
Clark, however, fills the role of de facto owner. He was initially named the Chiefs’ chairman in 2005 and, since Lamar’s death, has been the CEO and Chairman of the Board. When Kansas City clinched the AFC title with a victory over the Tennessee Titans, he was the one who accepted the trophy bearing Lamar Hunt’s name.
The last time the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl was 50 years ago. Nothing would make Lamar Hunt happier than seeing his club break their drought in Miami.