Don't Worry, Kansas City Will Represent At Super Bowl 50 ... Kind Of

Feb 4, 2016

No, we haven't forgotten about the heartbreaking loss against the Patriots that took the Kansas City Chiefs out of the NFL playoffs.

But Kansas City will be represented in a big way on Sunday as the Denver Broncos face off against the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.

As you turn on your TV for the game, check out the venue — Levi's Stadium — voted Venue of the Year in 2015 . It was designed by Kansas City-based architecture firm HNTB

The arena, which opened in 2014, is considered the most high-tech stadium in the world. It features 400 miles of fiber-optic cable, enabling stadium-wide Wi-Fi and mobile connectivity.

"The stadium is state of the art. They added cellular antennas below the seats ... so the infrastructure is unlike any other facility in the United States today," Wes Crosby, director of design for Interiors at HNTB, told Steve Kraske on KCUR's Up To Date. "It was built with higher capacity than any other stadium and just within the last few weeks they've just added to that capacity." 

The building also received a Gold Certification from the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) for its green design — the highest ranking ever achieved by an NFL stadium. It features solar panels, a green roof planted with native California species and water-conserving plumbing fixtures.

The Kansas City firm tries to incorporate green elements in all of its designs.

"For us it's a mandate, even internally. We try to do that to every building possible," Scott Capstack, director of design at HNTB told Kraske. "The thing that’s challenging and really makes this unique ... is stadiums are very difficult [to design for the] LEED scorecard and getting those components." 

That's because most stadiums don't operate on a 24-7 basis. The objective for this project was to make it a place that could operate year-round as an entertainment venue. 

Levi's Stadium is considered the most high-tech stadium in the world, and is accessible by various forms of public transportation. Kansas City architecture firm HNTB wanted to give it the feel and formality of a Roman amphitheater.
Credit Courtesy / HNTB

The Kansas City-based team, along with its California offices, worked closely with the the owners of the San Francisco 49ers to achieve their vision: an open venue, rooted in the values of the region (innovation of Silicon Valley and wine tradition of Napa), with a collegiate-style bowl and the feel and formality of a Roman amphitheater. 

After years of work, the stadium is ready for its biggest test yet — and the Kansas City team from HNTB will be there to see their baby in action.

"It is an incredible moment. We’re actually going to be there. That’s phenomenal in itself," said Capstack.  "This project took eight years from conception to completion. We always liken these projects, especially as architects, as though it’s really from from birth to sending a child off to college."

And Kansas Citians can rest assured that even though our team didn't make it all the way, we have at least one winner at Super Bowl 50.  

Lisa Rodriguez is the associate producer for KCUR's Up To Date. Find her on Twitter @larodrig