Kansas City Chiefs sold more tickets in 2017 than ever before
By Matt Conner
If the Kansas City Chiefs were already a hot ticket item, just wait until Patrick Mahomes actually shows what he can do on the field.
Kansas City Chiefs president Mark Donovan spoke to reporters on Wednesday from the team’s training camp in St. Joseph, Missouri and addressed several questions about the team’s relationship with fans and ability to sell tickets in a time when every major sport is figuring out how to best connect with the modern fan.
One interesting note tagged at the bottom of a long answer about ticket sales came up when Donovan admitted that the Chiefs sold more tickets last year than any other year in franchise history. That’s very good news for the Chiefs for obvious reasons, but it also brings up some points that might not be so obvious.
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Primetime is a major help. Last year, the Chiefs appeared in more primetime games than anyone else, and it’s clear that the team benefitted in a major way from being on television so often. Going to Arrowhead sounds that much more exciting when you know you’re watching a game that millions of others are watching from their couch. (Some of you might disagree and say your couch is cheaper and more comfortable, of course.)
Winning helps. Let’s be obvious for a minute and say that it’s a very good thing that the Chiefs are a winning product with four postseason appearances in the last five years. It gets them into primetime, which in turn sells tickets, which in turn creates revenue.
Despite the record set last season, per Donovan, the Chiefs have apparently put out the challenge to beat that figure this year. Note Donovan’s words, “We’re budgeted to do more, and I better hit budget, so we’ve got a lot of people working really hard to do that.”
Donovan did mention that the Chiefs are a bit “behind schedule” this year compared to last year in terms of ticket sales and pointed to the quality of the schedule last year compared to this year. Last year the Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins were just some of the visitors to Arrowhead in addition to the entire AFC West. This year, it makes sense for sales to lag since the Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals simply aren’t going to draw the average fan.
That said, this year does have the single most exciting element to add to the mix in starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Having an exciting new quarterback under center with such high potential is a more compelling storyline (e.g. the chance to say “I saw Mahomes play in person during his rookie year”) trumps a lot of these individual game draws. As the preseason plays out and Mahomes hype reaches a fever pitch heading into the season, Donovan should feel good about his chances to hit his numbers.
We’re all just hoping that Mahomes can also hit numbers of his own.