Over 700 Season Ticket Members came together to celebrate the beginning of another football season on Saturday as part of the inaugural "Pickup Party" at Arrowhead Stadium.
The event – which included appearances by Chiefs' Head Coach Andy Reid and President Mark Donovan in addition to an exclusive tasting of Kingdom Blonde Ale – beckoned Season Ticket Members from all walks of life in anticipation of the upcoming campaign.
The function existed for Season Ticket Members that chose to pick up their tickets in person rather than receiving them in the mail, allotting them a truly exclusive experience.
"This is probably one of the best things the Chiefs have done," said Season Ticket Member Joe Gonzalez, who drove in from Des Moines, Iowa just for the event. "Picking up the tickets is one thing, but to meet Coach Reid – that was unbelievable. Here I am in my mid-60s and I felt like a little kid."
Gonzalez was one of a handful of attendees that enjoyed an exclusive meet and greet with Reid, providing fans with an authentic experience they wouldn't soon forget.
"This has been awesome," said Season Ticket Member Kevin Will, who introduced Reid to his seven-week-old son at the event. "Hopefully, our son will be able to look back at the pictures and see he met one of the greatest coaches in the history of the franchise. We can tell him that our family was here."
Following the meet and greet, Reid addressed the hundreds of fans in attendance and answered a handful of questions about the upcoming season.
"It's always fun to hear from the coaches or players, and in this case the head coach," said Season Ticket Member Greg Greenwell, who traveled from St. Louis just for the event. "It absolutely makes you feel closer to the team, and it was particularly exciting to hear about the new players on offense."
Greenwell and his daughter, Anna Miller, have been making the trek across the state for several years. When asked how long he has been a fan, Greenwell's answer was simple enough.
"Forever," he said laughingly.
That was also the case for Season Ticket Member Phil Ogan, who drove in from Sioux City, Iowa.
"I was just out of high school when the Chiefs won the Super Bowl," Ogan said. "I remember watching guys like [Len] Dawson and [Otis] Taylor – I've been a fan for a long time."
It's that kind of passion that prompted the Chiefs to host the function, which included self-guided tours of the locker room and an opportunity to try Kingdom Blonde Ale, a beer brewed exclusively for the Chiefs that will be available at Arrowhead Stadium throughout the season.
It marked the first chance for fans to try the highly-anticipated craft brew - and it was a hit. Just over an hour into the event, attendees had drank through the Chiefs' entire supply on hand.
And for some fans, the party started in the parking lot well before the doors even opened – much like Sunday afternoons in the fall.
"We're getting ready for the tailgates– I actually just bought a bus that we're painting up," said Season Ticket Member Ted Jenkins, who was playing cornhole with a friend in the parking lot beforehand. "We'll have it parked right over there every weekend that the Chiefs are at home. We're really looking forward to that."
It was all just another example of the Chiefs' dedication to the franchise's Season Ticket Members, whose loyalty has been rewarded through a variety of exclusive events over the course of the offseason.
"The draft party was awesome and just everything else that the team is doing for us – it's been really cool," Jenkins said. "I love the Chiefs – I'll always be rooting for them – and things like this are definitely a perk."
The Chiefs will be counting on their thousands of Season Ticket Members soon enough with football season nearly here.
"There's nothing like when the ground is shaking out there [at Arrowhead]," Reid told the crowd. "When we come out of the tunnel, we know that you're there – every one of you. All this support, we can feel it and we love it."
To learn more about the benefits of being a Chiefs Season Ticket Member, follow this link.
Chiefs Season Ticket Members pick up tickets and sample the new Kingdom Ale in an exclusive event on Saturday.