KC Streetcar: Hail to The Chiefs! (Updated)

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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KC Streetcar no. 805 has been adorned with a Kansas City Chiefs-inspired vehicle wrap since the beginning of the 2019-2020 NFL season.

On Feb. 2, the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs returned to the Super Bowl after a 50-year drought and won the Vince Lombardi Trophy, coming back in the fourth quarter to defeat the five-time champion San Francisco 49ers 31-20. The Chiefs, three years after their 35-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl I on Jan. 15, 1967, defeated the Minnesota Vikings 23-7 in Super Bowl IV, Jan. 11, 1970. Fifty years later, the AFC champion Chiefs not only brought home the Super Bowl LIV title, but made extra special the effort put forth by the Kansas City Streetcar Authority (KCSA) to honor and support the team.

Throughout the 2019/2020 NFL football season, KC Streetcar has been operating a Chiefs-branded LRV, no. 805, one of seven CAF USA-built Urbos 3 vehicles. In honor of their first Super Bowl appearance in 50 years, 805’s interior has been equipped with red lighting. The exterior graphics and interior lighting effects are made possible through a collaboration of the KCSA, the Kansas City Chiefs and Signco, a Kansas City-based commercial signage company that specializes in vehicle wraps, among many other products and services.

The Chiefs hadn’t been to the Super Bowl since 1970, when quarterback (and eventual MVP) Len Dawson (far left) and head coach Hank Stram led the AFL champions to a 23-7 victory over the NFL champion Minnesota Vikings. Following the game, the NFL and AFL merged into a two-conference league, creating today’s NFC and AFC.
Super Bowl IV: The Chiefs’ Hank Stram was the first head coach to wear an NFL Films microphone during a Super Bowl.

On Jan. 31, the “Chiefs Streetcar” was the centerpiece of the “KC Streetcar Red Friday Ride and Rally” celebration, which consisted of a pre-ride rally at the Union Station East Transit Plaza, where fans visited the Arrowstream Photo Bus outside of Union Station and received Chiefs giveaways. This was followed by a ride with KC Wolf and the Rumble Drumline on board the Chiefs Streetcar.

When the Chiefs Streetcar arrived at the Power & Light northbound stop at 14th & Main, KC Wolf and the Rumble exited the Chiefs Streetcar and took fans through the city’s Power & Light District. There the celebration continued in the KC Live! Block with the Red Kingdom Rally hosted by Sports Radio 810 WHB-AM and featuring a performance by Tech N9ne (Aaron Dontez Yates).

The events were described as family friendly, but the KCSA stressed that space on the Chiefs Streetcar was limited. The CAF USA Urbos 3 LRVS have a maximum rider capacity of 150. The streetcar system, which opened in 2016, averages close to 7,000 riders per day and is free of charge, is operated and maintained by Herzog Transit Services.

“The streetcar has been a tremendous downtown development asset after many powerful business executives opposed and delayed it for years,” retired Kansas City Southern Executive Chairman and 2001 Railroader of the Year Mike Haverty told Railway Age. “Not KCS. We pushed for it, not because it has railroad tracks, but because it would be the foundation for a regional transportation system and promote downtown growth. It is doing just that, but we are still 15 years behind. We at Kansas City Southern are gratified the streetcar line is being expanded to the Plaza and the University of Missouri Kansas City.”

Haverty recently took an ownership position in the Kansas City Royals Major League Baseball team. He is also on the board of Union Station Kansas City.

Now that the Chiefs have won the Super Bowl, the city’s celebration will continue, no doubt much bigger, and definitely with the Kansas City Streetcar participating.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl LIV, and the youngest-ever Super Bowl MVP. Mahomes joins Kansas City Southern President and CEO Pat Ottensmeyer, Railway Age’s 2020 Railroader of the Year, as an “MVP.” Getty Images
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