Chiefs superfan family hoping to get long-held seat after stadium renovations

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Arrowhead Stadium will soon start a big renovation to add brand new seats with cup holders. But one fan is now pleading to keep a special seat that's been in her family nearly 30 years.

The Ross family's love affair with the Chiefs goes back decades. Season tickets since 1991. Now they're hopeful a piece of Chiefs and family history could come where it belongs.

"Dan was just such a fan," said Rhonda Ross, Dan's wife.

Autographed balls and posters, pictures and artwork are all part of the Ross family's "fan cave."

"This is where we have all friends and family come over and we scream at the TV and have a good time," Rhonda said.

It's a feature that's been part of every house they've lived in, all over the country. So the patriarch, Dan, just had to get his bride-to-be on board as a season ticket holder.

"They were $400 for the pair, and I threw a fit. I'm like, 'That's too much money!  We're getting married!'" Rhonda said.

But every year to follow, even after moving out of Missouri, they got to almost every game, and Dan never missed a home opener in 20 years. He indoctrinated his daughters into Chiefs Kingdom, too.

After he died suddenly from a heart condition in 2010, the basement fan cave is still the family's favorite place to be.

"After he passed, it just -- this is him. We feel him," Rhonda said.

So when daughter Kayla heard about Arrowhead's plans to replace all the stadium seats, she had to do something. There were just too many memories, sitting in section 332's front row, to let her dad's seat potentially end up in the dump.

"The Chiefs have been huge part of my life ever since I can remember, especially those seats," Kayla said.

So she emailed the Chiefs and posted her heartfelt plea to Twitter. She humbly asked to have her dad's seat come home.

"I didn't know Kayla was doing this. I had no idea," Rhonda said.

But she quickly found out when the Tweet exploded. To date, it's gotten a combined 10,000 likes and retweets.

"So blown away! I was expecting maybe a couple hundred retweets if i was lucky," Kayla said.

The Ross' are touched by stories of the power of sports connecting families and memories of Dan rekindled.

Now they hope somehow, some day, his seat finds it way back to them.

"He's there. You can feel him.  Granted, he'll still be there in those new seats, but just to have him and have that legacy and keep him with us," said Rhonda.

Rhonda also shared a fun story about Dan. He and his buddies always wore hard hat helmets to home games. But after increased security following 9/11, when they showed up to the stadium for a game, they were told the hard hats had to go. Because they'd parked so far away, the helmets ended up in the trash.

Dan wrote to Lamar Hunt after reading online the hard hats weren't against the rules. The Chiefs cut him a check for $50, but he refused to let anyone cash it.  The story and memory was far more valuable.

So the Ross family now jokes, since they never really got the benefit of that $50, the Chiefs should pay it forward.

"They still really owe me $50 because I never cashed it! So I think that seat should be the replacement," Rhonda said.

The Chiefs tell FOX4 they're excited about the stadium renovations but haven't made any decisions just yet on what will happen to all those old seats. They hope to share details on that soon.

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