KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Thursday night marks the start of the Kansas City Chiefs’ campaign for back-to-back Super Bowl titles as they take on the Detroit Lions.

“It’s one of the hardest things just to be the defending champion, come back and win another Super Bowl,” Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said Wednesday.

Adding contract disputes with Chris Jones and a potential injury for Travis Kelce won’t make it any easier.

But Hunt and the Chiefs are optimistic, and Thursday night will be the first test.

All eyes are on two Chiefs stars, though. Kelce hyperextended his knee Tuesday in practice, and has been listed as questionable in Wednesday’s injury report.

“The good news is the MRIs are all good on the knee, and so it’s just gonna be a day-to-day thing and his ability to tolerate the pain,” Hunt said. “I would not bet against Travis Kelce.”

Meanwhile, Jones’ status with the team is also unknown. He’s sat out of the offseason and preseason amid contract disputes. But at an appearance Wednesday in Kansas City, Jones spoke publicly for the first time on the issue.

Jones declined to comment on where negotiations stand currently but said he hopes it all gets worked out. He said if the contract somehow worked out Wednesday, he’d be out on the field Thursday night.

“I could be playing. I could be on the sidelines. I don’t know. We’ll see tomorrow,” he said.

But there’s plenty more to know if you’re headed to Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday night. Here are all the details for Chiefs Kingdom:


If you’re still looking for tickets, there are plenty still available. You can buy Chiefs tickets online or on a third-party site like Tickets for Less or SeatGeek.

Verified resale tickets on Ticketmaster are starting at about $150 for the upper level, but some resellers are asking over $1,000 for prime seats.

Don’t forget: All Chiefs games are mobile ticketing only. The team encourages fans to add their tickets to their mobile wallet to make getting through the gate easier.

Gameday forecast

The forecast looks pretty good overall for a Week 1 football game in Kansas City.

Tailgating temperatures should be in the mid 80s with a nice breeze, with numbers cooling into the 70s by the end of the game.

Chiefs forecast Sept. 7

We are watching a small chance of rain coming into the area toward the end of the game or drive-home timeframe that will need to be monitored further. 

Pregame timeline

UPDATE: The Chiefs opened Arrowhead parking lots at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, 90 minutes ahead of schedule, as thousands of fans lined up for the game.

The Chiefs home opener kicks off just after 7 p.m. Thursday.

Fans are encouraged to arrive at Arrowhead early since there are plenty of things going on at the stadium before the game starts, including the “World’s Largest Tailgate.” Give yourself plenty of time to get to your seats so you don’t miss any of the action on the field.

Here’s the pregame timeline:

  • 3 p.m. – Parking Gates Open
  • 3:30 p.m. – Ford Tailgate District Opens
  • 4:30 p.m. – CommunityAmerica Club Level Gates Open
  • 4:30 p.m. – World’s Largest Tailgate presented by Bud Light
  • 5 p.m. – All GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium Gates Open
  • 6:20 p.m. – Team Warm-Ups Begin
  • 7:13 p.m. – Chiefs Team Introduction
  • 7:14 p.m. – Lions Team Introduction
  • 7:17 p.m. – Coin Toss
  • 7:19 p.m. – National Anthem
  • 7:22 p.m. – Kickoff

Parking and traffic

Parking lots open at 3 p.m. ahead of Thursday night’s kickoff.

Fans should prepare for heavy delays due to rush hour traffic on Interstate 70 and Interstate 435. The Chiefs are encouraging fans to plan head and arrive several hours before kickoff.

Fans headed to the game need to remember that all parking passes must be purchased in advance online. Payments won’t be accepted at the parking gates.

Regular parking passes are $50 this season. If you bring a bus or RV, you’ll be required to purchase a different pass that costs $130. You’ll be able to access your parking pass on the Chiefs mobile app.

Fans planning to use ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft should plan to get dropped off and picked up at the Missouri Welcome Center located between Gates 1 and 2 on Blue Ridge Cutoff.

Getting through the gate

All stadium gates open at 5 p.m. Thursday, about two hours before kickoff.

Arrowhead Stadium has a Clear Bag Policy, and that means fans are only allowed to bring a clear plastic bag, a one-gallon, clear zip-seal bag or a small clutch bag into the stadium. Backpacks, fanny packs, purses and more are not allowed.

Speaking of things that aren’t allowed, items like food, weapons, noisemakers, laser pointers and fireworks are banned at Arrowhead.

Fans are still allowed to bring sealed water bottles, blankets, small umbrellas, signs and flags. See the full list of prohibited and permitted items.

No cash allowed

The Chiefs went completely cashless a few years ago, and that will continue going forward.

All concession stands and retail locations do not allow cash. Traditional credit and debit card options are still available, and mobile wallet payments like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay are also accepted.

World’s Largest Tailgate

“Saturday Night Live” star Heidi Gardner will be among several entertainers taking part in a tailgate and concert before the Chiefs’ home opener.

The 90-minute show, dubbed as the “World’s Largest Tailgate,” will be held in Arrowhead Stadium’s Fort Tailgate District in Lot M, starting at 4:30 p.m.

Along with Gardner’s appearances during segments, the 90-minute show will be hosted by YouTube stars the Merrell Twins along with performances from DJ-producer duo Two Friends.

The show will also feature internet personality Tabitha Swatosh and Donna Kelce, the mother of Chiefs star Travis Kelce and Jason Kelce, who plays for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Fans going the game can attend the show in person, but it will also be streamed live. Fans watching online can reserve a virtual seat here.

Chiefs Spirit

Before the game, the Chiefs will celebrate the team’s third Super Bowl title with an on-field ceremony as they unveil a new banner inside the stadium.

The Kansas City Boys Choir and Kansas City Girls Choir will also perform “Lift Every Voice,” and nine-time Grammy nominee Natalie Grant will sing the national anthem Thursday.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard will present the nation’s colors while the 110th and 393rd Bomb Squadron’s B-2 stealth bombers from Whiteman Air Force Base conduct a flyover.

Up on the GEHA Drum Deck, former Chiefs quarterback Chad Henne will be this week’s Drum Honoree, helping to get Chiefs fans pumped up for the game.

Henne retired just after the team won Super Bowl LVII, capping a 15-year career in the NFL.

Sanay Cherry-Owens, the Boys & Girls Clubs Missouri Youth of the Year, will be this week’s Tony DiPardo Spirit Leader.