KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The gates to Arrowhead Stadium opened four-and-a-half hours before kickoff of the Kansas City Chiefs first preseason game on Thursday. The hope was that people would start trickling in and it would be an easy flow of traffic.
It started off that way, but when 5 p.m. hit, it was as messy as usual. People said that wasn’t out of the ordinary.
For the most die-hard fans of the red and white, getting to the gates early and well-versed in the new parking rules was an easy task
“We have pre-season as well, we have to prepare,” one fan explained.
“We just show up early and we're all just in a row, boom, boom, boom, follow each other and there we are,” another fan said.
Gate 5 is now only for those who prepay for their parking. The signs were clear and easy to navigate
“It wasn't tragic or anything, they were actually friendly at the gate, scanned in early,” an early arriving fan said.
For thousands of others showing up on game day -- cash in hand-- the three dollar difference wasn’t incentive enough to purchase a pass ahead of time. Therefore, the cash gates looked as congested as usual. It was inside the lots that presented the most issues, as fans could find their section, but not necessarily the exact spot they wanted.
Fans used to heading to their favorite spot were instead directed to park in a tight and clean row, front to back. Laying out a full tailgating spread that's costly if it takes up more than the single spot you bought.
But just like the players in the first pre-season game, a little experience and the kinks will work themselves out. From 5 p.m. until just after kickoff, all of the gates were at a stop-and-go pace, traffic here near 1-70 and Blue Ridge was backed up for at least two miles.
One game is too soon to tell as to whether the changes will help traffic flow, but those we spoke to say it wasn’t any worse either.