“I thought it was very important. Not only just to get as many people out to vote as possible, but also to use a place [such] as Arrowhead where we have a lot of fun, show a lot of love and unity with people coming together, and use it as a place where we can come together to vote and use our voice,” Mahomes told the “Huddle & Flow” podcast with Jim Trotter and Steve Wyche.
Chiefs President Mark Donovan said that the election board initially balked, with one big reason being a lack of money with which to purchase voting machines.
“We finally had to go to them and say what’s it going to take,” Donovan said. “And that’s really what launched the idea of purchasing new machines. And so we, the Chiefs organization, the Hunt family [which owns the team] and Patrick Mahomes and his 15 and the Mahomies Foundation came together and said, ‘If that’s what it’s going to take, we’re committed to this point. Let’s go.’ ”
Mahomes, 25, said he was voting for the first time and, in a team meeting on voting initiatives over the summer, realized that he hadn’t properly registered. Now the face of the NFL, Mahomes was part of a group of players whose video statement following the death of George Floyd helped sway Commissioner Roger Goodell to film a video in which he admitted that the league was late to understand why players knelt during the national anthem and to say that Black lives matter. Mahomes, who signed a 10-year, $503-million contract extension with the Chiefs five months after winning the Super Bowl, also established roots in Kansas City, purchasing a stake in the Royals.
“I love this city and the people of this great town,” he said in late July, when he made the purchase. This opportunity allows me to deepen my roots in this community, which is something I’m excited to do.”
NFL teams typically are off on Tuesdays and the league took the additional step of closing facilities and offices this Tuesday to encourage voting, something it and the NFL Players Association advocated. Last week, that initiative resulted in the league and NFLPA saying that 90 percent of players had registered to vote. Stadiums and arenas around the country became polling sites.
“I thought Arrowhead was the perfect place for it, and the Chiefs were all aboard with it and some other guys on the team,” Mahomes said, “We all just made our efforts strong and really got it to be a central point for everybody to go vote.”
According to Donovan, costs that he described as “a six-figure investment by us” were split and may have an effect on voting in Kansas City for years to come.
“We’ll work with the election board on exactly how we can expand and what makes the most sense in terms of how many elections,” he said. “We actually were having that conversation earlier today in between voting activities. And like I said, if you actually come here and see what we’re doing and how we’re doing it, there’s a lot of interest in utilizing this a lot more.”