Chiefs fans encountered some snarls and delays entering the Truman Sports Complex parking lots on Sunday, but club officials said new procedures implemented this season are working.
“The changes we’ve made we’re still learning from,” said Chiefs president Mark Donovan. “We had a couple incidents we were able to make adjustments to clear. In this new system, we are able to do that faster than we were able to before.”
Some of the headaches were created by fans who had not attended the two preseason games and were not familiar with some of the new traffic patterns or newly assigned lots.
“At Gate 5, it really worked well for those who parked in Passes Only,” Donovan said, “but for some people, it was the first time they rolled up and saw a sign that said, ‘No Cash.’ So they’re being pushed down to Gate 6 or Gate 2 or 4, and they’re in an unfamiliar space, so it slows it down, and slows everything down.”
There were also a few incidents when a driver had some words with a parking attendant, “and that happens every game,” Donovan said.
Some of the delay begins on I-70 and I-435, before fans arrive at the Sports Complex, so there’s not much the parking lot attendants can to do at that point.
The key, Donovan said, is for fans to arrive early, and he noted that 87 percent of the cars were parked an hour before the noon kickoff.
“That’s a really high number for us, which is a good thing and also supports that this is working,” Donovan said. “People are getting to their spots quicker, they’re getting through quicker than they have in the past.”
The Chiefs announced an attendance of 73,569 and have about 22,000 parking spots to accommodate them.
The Chiefs’ next home game on Sept. 29 against New England will present different problems, because it will be a Monday night, though it will give fans more time to arrive than a noon game.
“It’s a real test because it’s a Monday night, and you’ve got traffic that is Monday, business week traffic,” Donovan said, “but you also get folks coming out here a lot earlier, so that spreads everything out for us.”