The Kansas City Chiefs are working through the process of making Arrowhead Stadium a polling place for the 2020 general election, according to team president Mark Donovan.
During a press conference with local media on Wednesday, Donovan answered a question asking about what specific actions the team will be taking following the last two months of players and members of the organization discussing ways to engage more Kansas Citians in the voting process.
After noting the work done by players like Patrick Mahomes and Tyrann Mathieu and expressing his desire to continue increasing voting awareness and engagement, Donovan unveiled the team's hope for what Arrowhead could look like on November 3.
"We've got a plan right now – which is not final, but I'll share it with you all that we're committed to doing it, but have some challenges – we want to make Arrowhead a polling location," Donovan said. "We want to create an opportunity for people to come to Arrowhead and vote."
Mahomes and Mathieu have publicly spearheaded the team's emphasis on voter registration, with Mahomes partnering with LeBron James' More Than A Vote in June. Earlier in June, Mahomes discussed how he and the Chiefs decided that voter registration and activism would be one of their key points of emphasis this offseason and into the year.
“I think it came from talking and listening to teammates and people throughout our organization,” Mahomes said. “Obviously, with voting coming up for local offices and everything like that, we wanted to make sure that was in the front of our minds.”
Mathieu has also spoken on the same cause, saying he hopes to "make voting cool," with the goal of making it easier for communities to choose their leadership in a fair and functional way.
“If we can really get a program going to get behind that, to be the first ones to make [voting] cool and then to see 30 other NFL teams doing it, and 30 plus basketball teams doing it, I think that right there, a lot of sports teams are full of minorities,” Mathieu said in July. “It’s full of kids from black communities, it’s full of those people from urban areas. It’s going to be our duty, it’s our responsibility to understand that, yeah, we do have a million dollars and we can fix some things to a certain extent, but to really make change, to really see our kids have a future, to really see young black minority, any minority, hold a great sense of power and great offices. That comes from voter registration, young kids going to the poll.”
For Donovan's full comments about voter registration, turning Arrowhead into a polling place and focusing on the third and fifth districts of Kansas City, read below or watch the video at the top of the page.
Mark Donovan: Voter registration and voter engagement, I personally believe is very important and people exercising the right to vote, I personally believe is very important. To your question of what we're doing and how we're doing it. So, I think Patrick, Tyrann, others, I’m really proud personally, and I know as an organization, we’re really proud to be associated with those guys and their efforts. I appreciate they’ve mentioned that we've had those discussions and I've been in those discussions.
We have some plans to do things in and around this election that are going to be focused on, number one, awareness of the importance of voting. Number two, creating awareness of the ways people can register to vote, the ways people can engage, and doing that through the experts in that space. RISE to Vote is somebody the league is working with; somebody we are actively working with. They’ve met with us as an organization, they met with our players, they are going to meet with our staff as well as our stadium staff to make sure that everybody is aware of the opportunities they have to register to vote and to vote.
To your question on third and fifth districts, I think one of the most compelling things that we can do to address that directly is we've got a plan right now – which is not final, but I'll share it with you all that we're committed to doing it, but have some challenges – we want to make Arrowhead a polling location. We want to create an opportunity for people to come to Arrowhead and vote. And in addition to that, with the awareness, you're going to see a lot of things around the highest points of awareness for us as an organization that are going to be focused on voting and the awareness of voting and ways to vote.
One of the reasons that I personally, and that I think this organization believes is that’s a platform that we need to get behind, is the beauty of the vote. You can have different opinions. You can vote for different people. But vote. And that's really what we're trying to engage in.