Jack W. Steadman
(born September 14
) is the former chairman
, vice president
and general manager
for the Kansas City Chiefs
of the National Football League
and has been associated with the team every year since its inception in 1960 as the Dallas Texans in the American Football League
Steadman retired from his position of Vice Chairman of the Chiefs on January 31, 2007 after being in the organization for over four decades.
Steadman – the franchise’s first general manager – also served as executive vice president, president, vice chairman and chairman in his 47 years with the Chiefs. He won four championships as general manager including the team’s Super Bowl IV title. Steadman and Lamar Hunt were at the forefront of the move to merge the AFL into the NFL.
Steadman grew up up in Warrenville, Illinois
and Dallas, Texas
. He attended Baylor University
and received his B.A. in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University
Hunt and Steadman bring football to Kansas City
In the early 1960s, Steadman worked with businessman Lamar Hunt
to establish the American Football League
and the Dallas Texans
. In 1963
the team moved to Kansas City, Missouri
when Steadman and Hunt negotiated with Kansas City Mayor H. Roe Bartle
to establish the Kansas City Chiefs
Truman Sports Complex
In 1967, Kansas City was considering replacing its aging Municipal Stadium
with a new multi-use stadium for both its baseball and football teams. Denver self-educated architect Charles Deaton
suggested to Steadman that the teams would be better served if each sport had its own stadium that was configured to its unique demands but that the complex reduce costs by sharing parking and highway expenses. The architect firm Kivett and Myers
perfected the plan (adding a rolling roof) and voters approved it. Arrowhead Stadium
opened in 1972 alongside Royals Stadium
(now known as Kauffmann Stadium).
The rolling roof was not to be built but the concept established Kivett and its successors in Kansas City as the dominant architects for almost all single-purpose major league baseball and football stadiums that have been built since. In 2005, the rolling roof plan re-emerged as part of Kansas City's bid to host Super Bowl XLIX, but the measure failed in the polls.
Steadman was named General Manager to Executive Vice President and General Manager in 1966; in August of 1976 he was named President of the Chiefs; and in 1989 was named Chairman of the Board. During Steadman's term as President (1976-1989), the Chiefs entered a period of decline in which they never entered the playoffs for 15 years and only had four winning seasons.
In 2005, Steadman was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame, the only executive other than Lamar Hunt to be honored with induction. Also in 2005, Steadman was appointed as the club’s Vice Chairman of the Board where he served through the end of the 2006 season until his retirement.
Steadman has joined Hunt in other ventures including Hunt Midwest Enterprises, Hunt Martin Materials, Hunt Midwest Real Estate Development Company. Steadman and Hunt developed Worlds of Fun, a 165-acre family entertainment complex which opened in 1973 with Oceans of Fun following in 1982. They were sold in 1995 to Cedar Fair Entertainment Company.
Steadman is active in local charities including Chairman, President and Campaign Chairman of the Heart of America United Way
; President of the Chamber of Commerce
of Greater Kansas City; past Chairman and Board Member of the Private Industry Council as well as the Full Employment Council. He is a director of the American Royal
Association and the Starlight Theatre
Association. Steadman also serves as an Advisory Trustee for Midwest Research Institute
and is a past member of the Civic Council Board of Directors
. In 1988, Steadman was honored by the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City
as the “Kansas Citian of the Year.”