TAMPA, Fla. — Kansas City Chiefs fans got a warm welcome Thursday as they stepped off their jet into Tampa International Airport, despite arriving into rival territory.
Ambassadors from Visit Tampa Bay cheered, clapped and invited a drum line to join them to welcome fans landing at the airport.
From coast to coast, Chiefs and Bucs fans are soaking up the glory of their team making it into the biggest sporting event of the year. Even those without tickets to Sunday’s game decided to fly into Tampa to be part of the electric atmosphere.
Of course, everyone is ready for the big showdown between Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes. It’s a match up so great that Chiefs fans packed the planes to simply be in Tampa where the rivalry is now at an all-time high.
Joseph Gonzalez is a Bucs fan and says he feels pretty confident going into Sunday.
“I think we got ‘em. We got the GOAT (greatest of all time) Tom Brady leading the way. Chiefs are a strong team but I think we can muscle up to them and put some pressure on Mahomes,” he said.
Chiefs fan Tess Lee disagrees.
“I think the GOAT (greatest of all time) is going to be passing the torch this weekend,” she said with a laugh.
Marshall Moore arrived in Tampa Thursday morning from Brooklyn. He grew up in New Jersey with no ties to Missouri, and yet, he found himself cheering for the Chiefs starting back in the 1980s and says it was a love affair that stuck. He loved receiving a warm welcome at TPA.
“It’s amazing. So much love especially when people find out we’re not from Kansas City, they’re like ‘New York! New York! New York!’” he elaborated.
ABC Action News met Chiefs fans flying in from across the country from Washington, to Missouri to New York.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor and Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas are also waging bets on which team will win. Castor is offering up some of Tampa’s finest cigars if the Chiefs win and Lucas is of course offering up KC BBQ if the Bucs win.
Tampa International is also ramping up COVID-19 testing and social distancing reminders to make sure all these extra fans are celebrating in the safest way possible.