As it is with the team on the field, a home opener game brings an air of uncertainty to the business side of the Chiefs.
Remember the parking fiasco in last year’s opener?
The Chiefs do. And they believe the steps they took to improve the flow after the first home game of 2016 should carry them through an uneventful opener on Sunday (at least in the parking lot) when the Philadelphia Eagles visit Arrowhead Stadium for a noon kickoff.
“We know we won’t have the issues this year that we had with the first game last year,” Chiefs president Mark Donovan said. “Having said that, first games are always the ones where everyone gets tested.”
Long lines at certain toll booths, cars directed to wrong parking lots upon entering the perimeter, not enough parking attendants … such problems added up to a frustrating experience for fans, and changes by the Chiefs. And traffic flow improved as the season continued.
But suggestions from the Chiefs haven’t changed.
“Plan your route, get here early, have your pass,” Donovan said.
The Chiefs have strongly encouraged pre-purchase of parking passes, which are $35 in advance. The cost to park without advanced purchase is $60.
Sunday’s game also marks the first glimse at a new ticketing plan, the Bud Light Game Day Pass. It’s a mobile-only season ticket that was sold for $200. The catch: Fans who bought them won’t know until the morning of the game where they’ll be sitting.
“We were pretty excited about the idea, and we thought it would sell well,” Donovan said. “Basically, it sold out.”
Donovan expects a full house for Sunday’s game, with a boost from last week’s victory at New England.
On Sunday, fans may notice some discoloration on the field. The Chiefs cut out half of the field and laid down sand for the stage during the U2 concert on Tuesday. New turf was rolled in after the concert.
“From a performance standpoint the field will be in great shape,” Donovan said. “We’ve done this before.”