When watching the Chiefs play at opposing teams' stadiums, most of us don't really think about all of the behind the scenes work that goes into the team getting there. There are flights to be booked, busses to rent, hotels to find, security for the team, meals to be prepared, meeting rooms to occupy…there is A LOT that goes into getting the Chiefs from Kansas City to an opposing team's city for the game.
The Chiefs Football Operations Coordinator, Mitch Reynolds, does most of this planning and preparing.
"I oversee all team travel and general logistics of the team," Reynolds explained. "I pick the hotels and bus companies we use on the road, handle the hotel and bus contracts, and assist with the charter plane contract. There is also an itinerary we prepare for the game weekends, according to Coach Reid's times."
Reynolds travels to the away games' city a few days before the team, in order to do a walk-through of the hotel, the airport and the stadium and to prepare for the team's arrival.
"During the season, I travel a few days in advance to set up everything for the team's arrival and manage the entire stay until we land back in Kansas City," Reynolds noted. "There are a lot of things to think about and prepare for when you're traveling. Some of the things that go into a team's stay include food for the plane, at the hotel, plus the post-game meal at the stadium, along with rooming lists, organizing the meeting room space at the hotel, creating seating assignments on the plane, coordinating the manifest and airline screening, plus, getting the buses onto the tarmac to greet the plane, take the team to and from the hotel, stadium, and airport."
It's not an easy task and most of us don't notice all the planning that has to go into the Chiefs playing an away game. However, the NFL recognized Reynolds this year, not letting his detailed, hard work be overlooked. Reynolds received the NFL Travel Coordinator of the Year Award.
"I'm very honored to receive this award; it's a very humbling experience to be recognized as the Travel Coordinator of the Year," Reynolds said. "There are a lot of people that put in a great amount of time handling the teams travel and I'm glad our team was able to make an impact. It came as a huge surprise that my name was called, but I'm so grateful and honored."
Reynolds has been with the Chiefs for three years now, starting as an intern for Football Operations and eventually working his way up the totem pole to Coordinator, and it didn't take long for Reynolds' work to shine.
"I've been with the Chiefs organization for three years, but this was my first year at overseeing the team's travel, so I guess I have a lot to live up to now," Reynolds commented.
Reynolds doesn't work alone, he has an entire team helping him plan and prepare and he wanted to thank them as well.
"A big thank you to everyone involved in the team's travel," Reynolds said. "There are a lot of moving pieces and no one can do it alone. This award is a testimony to everyone's hard work and a special thanks to Spencer Williams and Brian Shafar, who are both a tremendous help to the success of the team's travel."
So, next time you watch the Chiefs on the road, now you'll know what it took to get them there.
Congrats Mitch, on being recognized as the NFL Travel Coordinator of the Year!