Kansas City is a sea of red Friday as the town gears up for the Chiefs first regular season game against the Falcons on Sunday. Red Friday events and activities have been going on all day Thursday and Friday as fans prepare.
The red craze started early in the morning with planes painting red stripes across the sky above the Power and Light District. Then the red madness hit the streets as the fun shifted to serious as former Chiefs team members teamed up with the University of Kansas Hospital to sell Red Friday magazines for a good cause.
"It's for the Boys and Girls Club of Kansas City. So we're out here trying to grab people as they're coming to work and they're leaving work. Pretty busy place here and got all kinds of folks here. Pretty interested in Chiefs too," University of Kansas Hospital CEO Bob Page said.
In the afternoon, Chiefs fans gathered at 810 Zone in Overland Park for a big party to prepare for the big game.
"There is something electric about Arrowhead Stadium and home openers so we cannot wait until Sunday," Chiefs Cheerleader Ashli said.
A special delivery:
Lots of people are wearing Chiefs jerseys Friday and one fan has a brand new jersey thanks to a special delivery from the Chiefs' owner.
"Disbelief. You just sit there and go ‘Hey, that looks like Clark Hunt. Hey, that is Clark Hunt, so what's he doing here,'" Allen Roberson said.
Roberson was the lucky fan who had his custom Chiefs Nike jersey delivered to his doorstep.
"This is my new jersey. Says ‘Crazy Man.' That's what my niece calls me so, when we were getting jersey's this year, she asked I put ‘Crazy Man' on the back of mine. So I did and then 66 represents the year I was born," he said.
Roberson's been a Chief's season ticket holder for 20 years and a fan long before that. He said he's looking forward to wearing his new jersey to Sunday's season opener.
And Roberson believes Friday's feel good visit from the Chiefs owner is just the beginning of a great football season.
"I'm expecting the Chiefs to go to the playoffs and I'll be making my airlines and room reservations in New Orleans," he said.
Hunt family and Chiefs:
For 50 years the Chiefs have called Kansas City home and it's hard to imagine what the town would be like today, had Lamar Hunt never moved the Chiefs to the area.
"Our family is humbled and honored by the way the community has embraced the Chiefs over the last five decades," owner Clark Hunt said.
And it's a partnership that's benefited both sides the last 50 years. According to the Kansas City Convention and Visitors Association, the Chiefs' games generate more than $400 million annually. Chiefs games alone bring in $126 million in household income, supply almost 5,000 jobs to the area and pay nearly $10.5 million in annual tax revenue for Missouri.
College games played at Arrowhead Stadium bring in another $63 million in visitor spending and another $3.2 million to the Missouri tax roll.
"The key economic impact for a team like the Chiefs is bringing visitors into town for the weekend to see the Chiefs, spending time in the hotels, restaurants, shopping in the Plaza - all that stuff is new dollars coming in," Jeff Pinkerton, senior researcher with MARC, said.
The Hunt family invested more in Kansas City, building the largest underground storage facility in North America and later they brought the Wizards to town. While many of the endeavors have been sold, the Lamar Hunt footprint is a large one.
Pep Rally at the KC Live!:
Throughout the Power & Light's KC Live! area, it was a virtual sea of red. Fans bathed in the Chiefs' crimson color as players and head coach Romeo Crennel lead the crowd with a game day rallying cry.
"Oh man, this is fantastic. I try to get to the Chiefs rally every year and this little man, it's his first time at the Chiefs rally," Larry Horn said of he and his young son.
The pep rally was an event kids and adults of all ages could enjoy.
"It was really cool because we're supporting our home team," Jaden Nelson said.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.