The temperature was in the low 60s when the Chiefs headed out for practice on Wednesday.
The wintry feel will come quickly as Winter Storm Jupiter pushes into the Plains late in the week and Sunday’s forecast for the Chiefs-Steelers AFC Divisional playoff game, which has been moved to 7:20 p.m., calls for freezing rain.
The teams will play on a heated field at Arrowhead Stadium, but fans may have to negotiate some possible icy conditions getting in and out of the Truman Sports Complex.
That’s why the Chiefs have already started preparing.
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“It has the potential to be a pretty nasty ice storm,” said Chiefs president Mark Donovan. “But it also has the potential to be a rain storm and snow. The biggest thing is we are preparing for all of them.”
According to The Weather Channel’s website, weather.com, Kansas City has a 90 percent chance of freezing rain on Sunday with a high temperature of 33.
Donovan said the Chiefs have started pretreating the parking lots and roads leading to the gates. The pavement will continue to be treated during the week and before and after each precipitation event.
“We have a full plan in place that will keep the facility and the grounds around the facility as safe as possible,” Donovan said. “Having said that, Sunday comes, we’ve treated, it melts, all the sudden the temperature drops to 17 degrees, there is going to be ice, it’s going to be slick. People are going to have to be aware and careful.”
The Chiefs and their fans have dealt with some extreme conditions this season, including the second-coldest game on record. The Dec. 18 home game against the Titans kicked off in 1 degree with a wind chill of minus-9.
But the Chiefs haven’t dealt with snow or ice for a game this season. That may happen on Sunday.
“We’re focused on our fans getting here safely and we’re also really focused on our employees,” Donovan said. “We have 2,500 people who are coming to the stadium to service fans.
“I’d ask as we always do, to get here early and be patient. I don’t mean while sitting in traffic, but one or two accidents can have a chain reaction that we don’t need.”