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Arrowhead Stadium Tailgating: Tips from Seasoned Chiefs Fans

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Sure, an NFL championship would be great, but tailgating in Kansas City is the real prize for Chiefs fans! It’s one of the best reasons to visit Arrowhead Stadium – you can watch games on TV, right? – and any self-proclaimed Kansas City Chiefs superfan has gone to an Arrowhead tailgate party or ten. Seriously, Kansas City tailgating is the absolute best.

But if you’re new to the whole Chiefs Tailgating scene, things can get dicey once you arrive at Arrowhead. To help you out, we’ve compiled a few tips and tricks from seasoned tailgating pros. Don’t leave home without them.

Tailgate

Arrive Early for Big Games

Above all else, arrive early to tailgate like the best of ‘em! Arrowhead opens 5 hours before kickoff, and you should arrive 5 hours before kickoff – especially if the game is important. The Arrowhead tailgating area fills up fast for divisional games, night games, and season-ending bouts that will affect playoff seeding.

For the 2019-20 season, expect the following games to be tailgater’s paradise:

  • Week 5 (10/06, 7:20 PM) – Kansas City Chiefs vs. Indianapolis Colts
  • Week 8 (12/27, 7:20 PM) – Kansas City Chiefs vs. Green Bay Packers
  • Week 13 (12/01, 12:00 PM) – Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders
  • Week 15 (12/15, 12:00 PM) – Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos
  • Week 17 (12/29, 12:00 PM) – Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Arrowhead Stadium also closes its gates 90 minutes prior to kickoff, so don’t arrive late to the tailgate party. For noon games, Kansas City Chiefs superfans will typically be waiting in line at dawn. If you arrive after 9 AM, you’ll be stressed to the bone trying to inch into a parking spot.

Say “Yes” to Tailgate Parties

Arriving early also gives you the opportunity to celebrate (or commiserate, depending on the Chiefs’ record) with fellow tailgaters. Strangers will often give out open invitations to their own tailgate parties. But you’re an adult, so talking to strangers is okay, as is accepting their impromptu invite.

Similarly, if you’re hosting your own tailgate soiree of the century, toss out some invitations of your own. Sharing is caring.

Did Someone Say “Tradesies?”

To ensure you get a coveted invite to a tailgate party, stuff some bacon in your pants. (No, seriously.) People will love to have you as a guest if you bring along some delicious pork belly to trade. Just be sure it’s cooked and packed in a plastic bag, not free-moving and collecting pocket lint, you heathen.

And if you can whip up some tasty barbecue burnt ends, consider it icing on the cake.

Bring Cardboard

This is the secret tip all pro tailgaters have in their back pocket.

You have some spare cardboard boxes around the house, right? Pack some in your truck! You can use them as padding while tailgating, and they even act as insulation between your toesies and the cold ground come winter.

Travel Trailers Take Detours

If you’re hooking up a travel trailer or motorhome to your Nissan Titan for tailgating, you’ll need to enter Arrowhead through Gate 6 (see map below) and park in the grass. (*Warning: You may also be charged for an additional parking space if you have a wide trailer or system like a smoker.)

Chiefs Map

Photo: chiefs.com

Choose Your Lot Wisely

As you can see from the map above, you can tailgate in several areas at Arrowhead. But are all lots created equal? Not necessarily, according to fan David Goings.

“Over there at Lot C, which is the middle lot in the front side of the stadium, they got the Tee Pee group,” he says. Lot C, run by veterans, is typically where the fun happens, as there’s live music, dancing, and echoes of the Tomahawk Chop song at every turn.

In Lot N, you have a more laidback atmosphere, with unique campers, buses, and RVs. Food is the name of the game in Lot N, as they have a chili cook-off competition once annually, and anyone who wants to compete or sample the food can do so.

Lots F and G are usually full of season-ticket holders, and their tailgate parties are something out of The Great Gatsby.

Lot M is free to the tailgating public. Dance-offs, live DJs, and lawn game competitions are here, and beers are quite reasonably priced.

Check the Chiefs website for parking information.

Pay Ahead

You definitely want to pay for tailgate parking in advance, as it’s much cheaper than paying at the gate.

New Rule: Stadium or Home

Last year, the Chiefs phased in a new rule that forced tailgaters to either go to the stadium or leave the parking lots at kickoff. For the 2019 season, Arrowhead brass hasn’t commented on the permanency of this rule, but be wary that you may be asked to vacate the tailgating area once the Chiefs go knuckle-to-gridiron.

Clear Bags Only

If you plan on going to the game – and why wouldn’t you? – you should be aware that Arrowhead Stadium only allows clear bags inside, for safety reasons. This includes:

  • Gallon zip-seal plastic bags
  • Small purses, 4.5-by-6.5-inches, inserted in the clear zip-seal bag

So, leave your fanny pack in the truck.

Restrooms

Tailgate porta-lavs are…well, they are what they are. Try your best to stay sane and sanitized.

Inside the stadium, lines for the bathroom can be as long as a Harrison Butker 50-yarder. The restrooms by the Pro Shop are typically less crowded. Family bathrooms can be found by the Ford Fan Zone, as well.

Stay Warm

High winds can be torturous to Arrowhead Stadium guests. If your game seats are in the nose-bleeds, pack an additional layer of clothes, some hand warmers, and an extra scarf or two.

Post-Game Tailgate Party

Arrowhead closes about 60 minutes after the conclusion of a game, but traffic is nutso. If you attempt to leave along with everyone else, it may take you 2 hours to exit, let alone get back on the highway. So, sit back and relax until the area clears out a bit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8z74-ZZuMUA

Drive the Right Tailgating Truck

Any tailgating veteran understands the importance of having a well-equipped pickup truck to bring to Arrowhead. Enter the Nissan TITAN.

The TITAN includes several features that make tailgating a breeze. Take the Intelligent Around View® Monitor, for instance; it provides a composite 360-degree view around the TITAN, allowing you to park perfectly into that tailgating spot on the first go-round. A lockable cargo box in the rear seat is another handy tool, giving you the additional space to store valuables while you go watch the Chiefs dismantle their opponents. TITAN’s UTILI-TRACK Channel System even allows you to bring smokers and large grills.

Check out our selection of Nissan TITAN trucks for sale in Olathe before the 2019 Chiefs’ season gets underway. Call McCarthy Olathe Nissan at 913-324-7364 to learn more about our selection of new Nissan trucks and SUVs that would be perfect for any Arrowhead tailgate extravaganza.

 

 

Sources & Photos:

chiefs.com/stadium/parking/tailgating

nissanusa.com

visitkc.com/visitors/things-do/sports-recreation/ins-and-outs-arrowhead-tailgating

arrowheadaddict.com/2018/08/28/kansas-city-chiefs-tailgate-policy-changes-fans-upset/

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