Kansas City turns red as Chiefs celebrate 3rd Super Bowl title in 5 seasons with a parade

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Downtown Kansas City is turning into a sea of red for Valentine’s Day as Chiefs fans prepare to celebrate their third Super Bowl title in five seasons with a parade.

“It never gets old,” Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, on the eve of Wednesday’s festivities to mark the Chiefs’ come-from-behind, 25-22 overtime win over the San Francisco 49ers.

Key on the minds of many fans is whether pop superstar Taylor Swift will join her boyfriend Travis Kelce for the parade and victory speeches. Swift has not commented, but it would be a tight scheduling feat. She has to be in Melbourne, Australia, which is 17 hours ahead of Kansas City, by 6 p.m. Friday for the first of three scheduled concerts on her Eras Tour. And the flight itself takes about 17 hours.

Still, that remote possibility, combined with unseasonably warm temperatures in the 60s Fahrenheit (15-20 Celsius), are expected to generate a crowd that city officials estimate could top 1 million.

The city and the team each chipped in around $1 million each for the event commemorating Kelce, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs becoming the first team since Tom Brady and the New England Patriots two decades ago to defend their title.

Many of the largest school districts in the area have canceled classes, and businesses along the parade path are turning the day into a viewing party for their workers. At least 600 Kansas City police officers will be stationed along the the 2-mile (3.22-kilometer) route, said police Chief Stacey Graves.

After decades without a championship, the city is gaining experience with victory parades. Five seasons ago, the Chiefs defeated the 49ers for the team’s first Super Bowl championship in 50 years. That followed the Kansas City Royals winning the World Series in 2015, the city’s first baseball championship in 30 years. That year, fans abandoned their cars on the side of the highway so they could walk to the celebration.

Then, last year, the Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 and prophetically vowed they would be back for more.

One big change this year is that the parade is getting started one hour earlier at 11 a.m. so the crowd will dissipate before the Valentine’s Day dinner crowd shows up.

After the massive cleanup, the team gets ready to try it again.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl

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