Here's everything we know about the Chiefs' Super Bowl victory parade in Kansas City
When the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl last year, close to 1 million flooded the streets of downtown for a victory parade and rally. To celebrate their second win in a row, this Wednesday's event could bring even more — especially if Taylor Swift shows up.
This story is no longer being updated. For the latest news, go to KCUR's liveblog.
For the second year in a row, Kansas City Chiefs fans will descend on downtown to celebrate a Super Bowl win and show some love to their favorite players.
The parade and celebration are slated for Wednesday, Feb. 14 — yes, the same date as both Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday.
Kansas City fans who have attended previous championship celebrations downtown know that planning is key.
LET’S HAVE A PARADE WEDNESDAY!!!— Mayor Q (@QuintonLucasKC) February 12, 2024
Here’s what we know so far. (We’ll update this post with more information as it comes in.)
When is the celebration?
The parade is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. A victory rally will start at Union Station as soon as the parade finishes, around 12:45 p.m.
Matthew Naylor, president of the World War I Museum, told KCUR that staff had already begun preparing the grounds ahead of the Super Bowl.
What’s the route?
Pretty much the same as last year!
A map released by the Kansas City Sports Commission has the parade starting at 6th Street in the River Market/downtown area and heading south on Grand Boulevard, through downtown, Power & Light and the Crossroads. Unlike last year, the parade will not be going through City Market.
The parade then turned onto Pershing Road and finished in front of Union Station.
How will the parade impact traffic downtown?
The parade and rally will shut down several streets downtown. That means if you’re driving into downtown, you may have to park blocks away from the parade route and walk.
Here are the streets that will be closed (more will be added as details firm up):
- Main Street, between 20th Street and Pershing Road (closed to both vehicles and pedestrians on Wednesday)
- Main Street from Pershing to 27th Street (closed to vehicles, open to pedestrians)
- Pershing Road, from Main Street to Kessler Road (closed beginning Monday)
- The parade route will be closed starting Tuesday morning at 11 a.m.
- Streets running east and west of Grand will be closed between Walnut and McGee, from 6th Street on the north to Pershing on the south (beginning Tuesday at 11 a.m.)
- More road closures on Main Street from 27th to 31st Street (when parade starts)
Union Station will also be closed off to public access on Tuesday night around midnight, and will reopen on Wednesday at about 4 p.m.
Because the parade falls on Valentine’s Day — a big one for local businesses and restaurants — City Manager Brian Platt said that city crews will begin cleaning up immediately after the parade to ensure roads are back open downtown by the afternoon.
“It's some small businesses’ biggest day of the year, one of the biggest days of the year for business, and we want to be mindful of that,” Platt told KCUR’s Up to Date on Monday.
What will the weather be?
The forecast for Wednesday is looking balmy and warmer than normal for Kansas City in February, according to the National Weather Service.
As of now, we’re looking at sun and a high of 61 degrees. In the early morning, if you plan on getting a good spot along the parade route or on the World War I lawn, expect chillier temperatures in the low 30s, so dress appropriately.
There is about a 30% chance of rain by Wednesday evening, but the parade and rally should be well cleared out by then.
Overall, it's looking a lot nicer than the brisk day Kansas City had last year. Maybe that the kind of good weather afforded to dynasties.
Will schools close?
Even before the big game, Kansas City Public Schools and the Independence School District announced there will be no school on Wednesday if there’s a parade.
The University of Missouri-Kansas City is holding classes and continuing operations as normal on Wednesday. However, 22nd Street near the Health Sciences campus will be closed, and campus parking will be restricted to UMKC parking pass holders and dental clinic patients.
Here is a list of school district that are canceling classes. We’ll update this list as more schools make their decisions — last year, it was almost certain that students in the Kansas City area would get the day off.
- Kansas City Public Schools
- Hickman Mills School District
- Independence School District
- Liberty Public Schools
- Center School District
- Fort Osage School District
- Grain Valley School District
- Blue Springs School District
- North Kansas City Schools
- Platte County School District
- Grandview School District
- Park Hill School District
- Shawnee Mission School District
- Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools
- Olathe Public Schools
- USD 232 (De Soto)
- Blue Valley Public Schools
Brutally cold weather and snowstorms caused a number of school cancellations across the metro in January, so several districts initially said they'd keep classes on Wednesday before reversing course.
What will security look like?
Just like in 2023, the celebration will be an all-hands-on-deck situation for the Kansas City Police Department.
Mayor Quinton Lucas said at a press conference Monday that at least 600 KCPD officers will be stationed along the parade route.
Officers from surrounding law enforcement agencies will also work the parade, Platt said, both in uniform and in plain clothes. Emergency Medical Services will also be present at the celebration.
Back in April, the Board of Police Commissioners, which governs the KCPD, said overtime costs for police officers working the parade cost $200,400.
In 2023, the KCPD said 805 law enforcement personnel were involved, including 530 on-duty and off-duty officers and another 275 from regional law enforcement agencies.
Can I ride the streetcar?
In 2023, the Kansas City Streetcar — which runs on Main Street parallel to the parade route — suspended operation on the parade day.
This Wednesday, the Streetcar will run in a limited capacity and will begin service at 6 a.m.
Passengers will not be able to board the Streetcar at Union Station. Instead, riders can exit and enter at the Crossroads stops on 19th and Main.
Streetcar service on Wednesday will begin at 6 a.m. and run at 10-12 minute frequencies until 10:30 a.m., when the streetcar will temporarily suspend service until the end of the parade and rally at Union Station.
Can I take the bus?
You can ride the bus for free! Buses will be around for getting people to and from the parade, but greatly reduced for anyone not attending.
The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) is only operating 13 of its regular routes, and none of its express routes. After 7 a.m., most will include significant detours.
- Hourly service: Main MAX, Prospect MAX, Troost MAX and 63 63rd Street
- 30-minute service: 24 Independence, 28 Blue Ridge, 31 31st St., 39 39th St., 47 Broadway, 101 State Avenue, 106 Quindaro-Amazon and 229 Boardwalk-KCI.
- Reduced service all day: 99 South Kansas City Flex (critical medical trips only)
RideKC will not running any of its fixed routes from Johnson County.
Here is the full list of RideKC changes.
However, KCATA will provide park and rides at several locations to shuttle people to the parade route. The shuttles run from 7-10:30 a.m. and again from 12-4 p.m. Riders are warned to prepare for a 45 minute wait.
- Former K-Mart at Chouteau and Vivion (2835 NE Vivion Road)
- HyVee Arena / West Bottoms (1800 Genessee Street)
- Swope Park/Zoo (6800 Zoo Drive)
- Oak Park Mall (11149 W 95th Street)
- 47th Street State Transit Center (849 N 47th Street)
The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, will also be providing free transportation to residents attending the parade. The UG says that 2,700 passengers used the service last year.
Those buses will start picking up people at the regional transit center at 47th and State Avenue, between 7-10:30 a.m., and drop passengers off at the Hy-Vee park-and-ride location. Return trips will run from 1-5 p.m.
More info on transportation options here.
What does cell phone service look like?
This has been a major issue in past years. It’s almost certain that cell phone service will be extremely limited because of the anticipated large crowd.
Officials recommend making plans with your group in case any one gets separated. There will be seven reunification locations around the parade for this purpose:
- UMB Bank (928 Grand)
- Kansas City Police Department (1125 Locust Street)
- T-Mobile Center Concourse (14th & Grand)
- Resurrection Downtown (1601 Grand)
- UMB Bank (1800 Grand)
- Blue Cross & Blue Shield (2301 Main Street, west entrance)
- Lunchland at Crown Center (2475 Grand, third level)
What about parking close to the parade?
Maybe don't. Considering how many streets will be closed, and how much traffic there will be, it's gonna be a real mess driving around downtown.
Instead, if you're too close for a park-and-ride but too far to walk (although it will be nice weather for a stroll!) you might consider scooters or bikes.
Because cell phone service will be limited, you might want to download those apps ahead of time and plan which location you're picking up a ride from.
Will Taylor Swift be at the parade?
She made it to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas from Japan, against all odds.
Taylor, feel free to let us know what your plans are.
Speaking to KCUR's Up To Date, Kansas City Manager Brian Platt expects Swift to help drive more people to the event — if even to get a glimpse of the superstar. He suggests that fans may start lining up along the parade route the night before the celebration.
“That's gonna be a whole second level of security issues that we have to deal with — the crowds and all that sort of thing,” Platt said. “So we are more than ready. We have no concerns with our safety protocols and what we're doing to make sure that the route will be free of any issues.”
Platt hinted that city officials may have already told Swift’s team that her presence at the parade may be too much for the city's security to handle on its own.
“I can't confirm or deny but we might have already told that to her team, just to keep everybody safe and make things a little bit easier for us,” he said.
On Wednesday, city officials including Mayor Quinton Lucas disputed reports that Kansas City dissuaded Swift from attending. "Not true at all," Lucas posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
How much is this costing Kansas City?
Both the parade and the rally after will be free to attend, but not for the city to put on.
Kansas City officials recently approved spending $975,000 on the parade, which is higher than last year’s allocation of $750,000. Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas attributed the increase to overtime for city workers, public safety personnel and higher transportation costs.
The Jackson County Legislature also approved spending $75,000 to sponsor the parade.
Other costs are being shouldered by private sponsors.
Platt said the Chiefs (an organization valued in 2023 at $4.3 billion, according to Forbes) are pitching in a little over $1 million to support the celebration.
The total pricetag has yet to be determined. Last year, the estimated cost was at least $2.25 million.
How did the Chiefs victory parade go last year?
Fans from the metro and beyond lined up along the parade route early — as in, hours before the sun came up.
As time inched closer to the start of the parade, Grand Boulevard and the lawn of the World War I Museum was packed with people. Some stood 10 people deep, standing on tiptoes or sitting on shoulders, to hopefully get a glimpse of their favorite player.
Pretty early on, one of the biggest issues was bathroom access — KCUR found dozens of people waiting in line at one Porta Potty.
Some fans rented spaces along Grand and stood on rooftops to get a bird’s eye view of the parade. If you were lucky enough to get a glimpse, a convoy of double-decker buses and trucks carried local officials and Chiefs players through downtown, with confetti raining down on the thousands of fans decked out in red Chiefs gear.
"This is a dynasty, y'all just didn't know 'til now,” Kelce told the crowd at last year’s rally.
Now there’s no doubt.