AFC Championship: What you need to know if you’re headed to Arrowhead for Chiefs-Bills game

Kansas City Chiefs
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After last week’s win over the Cleveland Browns, the Kansas City Chiefs are set to host their third-straight AFC Championship this Sunday.

That means the road to Tampa and Super Bowl LV runs through Arrowhead Stadium.

But if you snag a ticket to the Chiefs’ second playoff game, it’s going to look a lot different than last year. Just like the regular season, be prepared for pandemic-related precautions at Sunday’s AFC Championship against the Buffalo Bills.

The Chiefs will not be increasing fan capacity for the postseason. The number of fans allowed in Arrowhead will remain at 22%, or roughly 17,000, the team said.

If you’re still looking for tickets, you can buy them online or on a third-party site like Tickets for Less.

But be prepared to pay a pretty penny. The cheapest seats for the Chiefs-Bills game are selling for hundreds of dollars, and lower level seats are selling for well over $1,000 — some even over $2,000.

Face masks required

Like most public events these days, fans will be required to wear a face mask at all times at Chiefs games, with the exception of when actively eating or drinking.

This is a league-wide requirement that the NFL announced in July, and it has been implemented all season.

Pre-game timeline

Fans are encouraged to arrive at Arrowhead early. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your seats so you don’t miss any of the action on the field.

  • 1:30 p.m. – Parking Gates Open
  • 3:30 p.m. – All Stadium Gates Open
  • 4:30 p.m. – Team Warm-Ups Begin
  • 5:31 p.m. – Chiefs Team Introduction
  • 5:34 p.m. – National Anthem
  • 5:36 p.m. – Flyover (weather permitting)
  • 5:37 p.m. – Bills Team Introduction
  • 5:38 p.m. – Coin Toss
  • 5:40 p.m. – Kickoff

Parking

Parking lots will only be open to ticket holders this season. They open roughly four hours before kickoff each week, so this Sunday, that’s 1:30 p.m.

To cut down on germs, parking is cashless this season. Fans have to purchase parking passes at least a day in advance on the Chiefs website.

Regular parking passes are $40. If you bring a bus or RV, you might be required to purchase a different pass. You’ll be able to access your ticket and parking pass on the Chiefs mobile app.

Guests get a recommended parking entry gate based on their seats to minimize contact with others. Cars are parked every other spot. 

Game Day Forecast

Grab your rain gear! It’s looking like it will be damp and cold outside this Sunday as the Chiefs take on the Bills.

“It’s going to be rainy, drizzly; mist is going to be falling out of the sky,” FOX4’s Karli Ritter said Friday.

By late Sunday night into Monday morning, we’re expecting more of a wintery system.

Tailgating

Tailgating is still be allowed before the game, but fans are expected to stay in the area behind their vehicle to maintain physical distancing.

The team is also asking fans to wear masks while tailgating, again except when eating or drinking.

Offensive signs, banners or other displays — including the Confederate Flag — are prohibited even while tailgating.

Tailgate-free zones will be provided in lots B & H for fans who prefer that option.

Getting through the gate

Stadium gates open at 3:30 p.m. this Sunday, about two hours ahead of kickoff.

When you’re ready to head into the stadium, you’ll be required to enter via a specific gate based on your seat. It will be indicated on your ticket.

All bags — including clear bags and clutch bags, which were previously approved — are now prohibited. This is a change to minimize the security screening process. Guests with medical needs should bring their items in a clear plastic bag.

Fans are still allowed to bring sealed water bottles, blankets, small umbrellas, signs and flags, and seat cushions, but you’ll have to carry it in by hand.

The team has also banned American Indian headdresses or face paint. General face paint is still allowed.

See the full list of what’s allowed and what’s not here.

Chiefs Kingdom pride

A Joint Armed Services Color Guard made up of one member from each branch of the military will present the nation’s colors on Sunday. Then, guitarist and Broadway performer Brandon Niederauer will perform the national anthem, pre-recorded.

At the conclusion of the national anthem, a 4-ship of A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircrafts will perform the flyover, Whiteman Air Force Base said.

The flyover will be supported by the 442d Fighter Wing maintainers launching the A-10s, more commonly known as the “KC Hawgs.”

Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt will serve as Sunday’s Drum Honoree up on the Drum Deck.

The DiPardo Spirit Leader will be Dan Medina, a Gardner native and season ticket member. Medina is also a staff sergeant in the Army Reserves, which he joined in 2011. He was deployed to Afghanistan in 2017 and 2018 and to the Middle East in 2020 before returning home this past Christmas Eve.

No cash allowed

One of the biggest changes is that Arrowhead Stadium went completely cashless this season, both inside and outside the stadium.

Traditional credit and debit card options are still available, and mobile wallet payments like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay are also accepted.

The team has also introduced Chiefs Pay, a payment platform within the Chiefs app, which debuted this season. It’s a partnership with the company Tappit. Chiefs fans are already required to use the Chiefs app to access their game tickets and parking passes.

Inside Arrowhead

Arrowhead Stadium is broken up into zones this season to eliminate crossover and minimize exposure. Fans can find their zone on their ticket.

As part of the 22% limited capacity, fans sit in pods of up to six people. You must know everyone in your pod.

The stadium has enhanced cleaning and sanitization measures for every home game. All staff members are required to go through a health screening before entering the stadium and wear personal protective equipment.

Fans will see physical distancing measures and hand sanitizing stations throughout Arrowhead as well.

Smoking, including vaping, are not be allowed inside the stadium. Spitting of any kind, whether it’s tobacco or sunflower seeds, is also banned this season.

There have also been some changes at concession stands. Beyond going cashless, concessions have more kiosk ordering and order-pickup areas to make the process faster.

Pre-packaged or wrapped items are also available at all locations, including condiments. Drinks come with lids or caps, and refills are not be available.

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