KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City has some experience hosting championship parades recently.
There were celebrations in 2015 for the Kansas City Royals and 2020 for the Kansas City Chiefs.
KCATA’s Chuck Ferguson said Monday that practice will make this year’s Chiefs Champions Parade and Victory Rally “like a well-oiled machine.”
But those past events haven’t been without their major hiccups.
Hundreds of thousands of baseball fans celebrated the Royals’ first World Series in 30 years on an unseasonably warm November day in 2015.
The city had 400 busses to shuttle fans to the parade route and rally. But many fans had trouble getting there, leaving their cars parked on I-35. Some then found themselves stuck in traffic for hours trying to leave.
“We just parked 10 minutes ago. It’s almost 2 p.m. now. We’re just trying to get to Union Station,” one fan told FOX4.
“Everyone was just trying to squeeze their way in everywhere, couldn’t see anything, couldn’t hear anything,” another fan said.
By most accounts, a somewhat smaller crowd of fans braved bitter cold in 2020, lining streets, balconies, parking garages and the lawn of Liberty Memorial for the Chiefs’ last Super Bowl Parade.
“We just won the Super Bow. We the champs baby,” Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes shouted to the crowd during the rally at Union Station.
While traffic seemed to move more smoothly, one fan stood on a horse, another fell from a tree with his pants down.
By far the scariest sight was before the parade when a car barreled through barriers down the parade route, chased by police.
“He comes rolling down, the cop pit maneuvered him and spun him around. He was close to people which was pretty scary,” one fan said.
“We came this close to having a police-involved shooting at this incident,” then Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith said at the time.
Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves vowed Monday that steps were being taken to prevent a repeat occurrence.
“We have added additional resources to our route so we don’t have a same situation that happened in 2020,” Graves said.
Officials hope the vast majority of fans leave this year’s parade and rally feeling just as excited as the players if not more. Even the same fans at previous parades who called traffic and crowds “a nightmare” also said “it was totally worth it.”