The Kansas City Chiefs are looking to alleviate game-day crunches at the tollgates by overhauling their parking policies at the Truman Sports Complex.
The alterations, which will go into effect this season at Arrowhead Stadium, include a slight price hike for parking purchased with cash on game day, one-way traffic flow around the stadium itself and more communication with fans, especially season-ticket holders.
The reworked traffic plan comes on the heels of a study the organization conducted via SP+ Gameday, a consultation firm whose resume includes similar evaluation projects for the Olympics, Super Bowl and Final Four. Premier Parking, which manages parking operations at Arrowhead, as well as the Sprint Center, Cricket Wireless Amphitheater and Sporting Park, also weighed in.
Parking for Chiefs games last season cost $27, and that price will remain the same this fall — but only if you purchase your parking pass ahead of time. Parking passes on the day of a game will cost $30, which is still below the league average of $30.57 for last season, according to the most recent data available.
That sum will be payable in cash, but only at Gates 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7. Particularly heavy congestion at Gate 5, on the southwest corner of the complex off I-435 South and Raytown Road, prompted Chiefs stadium officials to declare that gate a cash-free zone.
It’s believed that making Gate 5 a prepaid-only entrance point will alleviate one of the biggest bottlenecks into the complex.
Prepaid parking will be accepted at all stadium gates.
“The parking and traffic operations are all part of the gameday experience for our fans,” Chiefs President Mark Donovan said in a news release. “We have been continually listening to our fans and exploring various ways to improve parking and traffic at the Truman Sports Complex. We believe that we have developed a solution that will enhance the door-to-door experience for all fans on gameday.”
The $3 increase for game-day parking may chaffe some fans, but it could be worse.
Based on 2013 data collected by the annual Team Marketing Report, the most expensive game-day parking belongs to the Dallas Cowboys — $75. Washington and the Seattle Seahawks were next at $50, Chicago charged $46, and Pittsburgh, Green Bay, New England and Baltimore each charged $40.
The least-expensive parking in the league — $10 — belonged to the Arizona Cardinals. Detroit came in at $11, Minnesota at $15, and Carolina, Indianapolis, Atlanta and St. Louis charged $20 apiece.
Another major change to Arrowhead parking on game day involves traffic flow inside the gates. No longer will two-way traffic meander around the stadium; instead, cars will be ushered around the venue in a counter-clockwise manner.
Also, parking gate entry and type of parking pass will determine the lot in which a vehicle will park. In other words, the days of being assigned specific red or gold lot to park in (with gold being the closest to the stadium) are done with. From every entrance, fans will now be directed to the nearest red or gold lot with spaces available.
This also means fans who want to park next to or nearby each other in the same lot are encouraged to get there early and arrive through the same gate entrance at the same time. The club will be filling up the lots outward, so with the emphasis on getting people parked quickly, linking up could be increasingly difficult.
Parking attendants will navigate the lots via golf carts and be stationed in tents throughout the lots to assist.
“Our team of planning and operations specialists went onsite to study every facet of the operation during the 2013 season,” said SP+ Gameday vice president Don Jordan. “We discovered that the Chiefs have a solid foundation, but with a few enhancements, they could make some notable differences.”
The Chiefs plan to send “individually customized emails” to season-ticket holders before the home opener letting them know the best gate to use on game days. The suggestions will be based on gates ticket holders have used in the past, where their parking passes had previously been located and current and projected traffic patterns.
Fans who want to prepay for parking or obtain more information about the new procedures can reach the Chiefs at 816-920-4237.