The Chiefs will only play three home games before Nov. 29, and part of the reason is that they asked to be on the road for three weekends in October and November.
After the Chiefs announced that Arrowhead Stadium would become the new home of the American Royal barbecue this October, Chiefs president Mark Donovan said the team asked the NFL for road games the weekend of the Royal, as well as the weekend of a fall NASCAR race and the weekend of a Missouri-BYU college football game at Arrowhead.
“We asked the NFL to consider putting us away that Oct. 4 weekend, and they cooperated,” Donovan said Tuesday. “That was a big plus.
“We’ve seen years where we’ve had everything accommodated and we’ve seen years where we’ve had zero accommodated. The schedule is so complicated, it’s impossible to get (what you want) every time.”
The Chiefs begin the regular season with a 12 p.m. road game against Houston on Sept. 13 before a home game Sept. 17, a Thursday-night showdown against Denver. They are home Oct. 11 against Chicago and Oct. 25 vs. Pittsburgh before their next home game Nov. 29 vs. Buffalo.
They are at Cincinnati on Oct. 4, during the Royal, at Minnesota on Oct. 18, the same day as a Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway, and at Denver on Nov. 15, the day after Mizzou plays at Arrowhead. The Chiefs are also playing one of their eight home games in London, on Nov. 1 vs. Detroit.
Donovan said when the schedule came out in mid-April, the first thing he did was look at it from a football perspective.
“Then you’re looking at the Royal date, then you’re looking at the Missouri date,” Donovan said. “And all those things fell into place.”
As for the Royal barbecue, which runs Oct. 1-4, Donovan said the Chiefs have wanted to bring “great events” to Arrowhead following renovations made in 2009.
“There will be people who come to Arrowhead for the American Royal who don’t come to Chiefs games or don’t come to Royals games,” he said, “so it’s another opportunity to experience it.”