HARRISONVILLE, Mo. (WDAF) — The announcement by Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas that there won’t be a Super Bowl parade if the Chiefs defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV didn’t sit well with some jurisdictions in the metro.
Cass County commissioners say they welcome a Super Bowl parade in their county.
While still in the throes of a pandemic, there has been some backlash to the invitation to host a Super Bowl parade in Cass County, which does not have a mask mandate but commissioners are excited for the possibilities.
“Fifty years it had been since we went to the Super Bowl last year, now we’re talking about back-to-back Super Bowls, which is huge for every Chiefs fan in the world,” said Cass County Commissioner Ryan Johnson.
Hundreds of thousands of fans from across the metro made up the sea of red during the Super Bowl LIV victory parade in February of last year in Kansas City.
Cass County commissioners decided to take action after Lucas made the announcement last week.
“A Chiefs parade in the classic sense as we knew it is highly unlikely,” he said. “It won’t happen, but there will be different ways that we come up to try to celebrate.”
Johnson said his motivation is to remind everyone that the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan area is bigger than one city and its mayor and that other people have different opinions.
“To have someone come out preemptively and pour cold water over some thing that brings so much joy, happiness and hope quite frankly, which we need a lot of right now,” Johnson said.
People in Harrisonville like Joan Mabary are excited at the prospect of a parade in Cass County.
Mabary, who owns Joni’s Fashions, said this has been the worst year for her clothing store located on the square in Harrisonville since she opened 48 years ago. A Super Bowl victory parade would be something to look forward to.
“Our Chiefs are the only thing that’s been really good the past year and everybody’s so excited about them like they were last year,” she said.
Johnson doesn’t have any details of what a Super Bowl parade would look like in Cass County. If one does happen, he said there would be multi-agency conversation with the Chiefs, NFL and the Cass County Health Department to ensure a safe, responsible and family friendly event.
“Anybody that’s ever been involved in athletics knows that you don’t start talking about the party until after the game is played,” Johnson said. “So, right now we’re just fans sitting back watching a great team play football and looking forward to a really great game.”
The Chiefs have not responded to the invitation but were part of a joint statement issued Monday with city leaders on the decision not to hold a public Super Bowl parade or celebration:
We are wary of engaging in anything that could possibly “jinx” our beloved team, but in the interest of public safety and due to multiple media questions, we want to provide an update on any potential Super Bowl Parade or other celebrations.
After careful consideration, and in consultation with the KCMO Health Department, and the Kansas City Sports Commission, along with the support of the Kansas City Chiefs, we have made the decision to forgo hosting a public celebration in the event of a win. This decision was made with the goal of protecting the health, safety and well-being of fans, players, team personnel and the larger Kansas City community.
“We are so disappointed that we won’t be able to execute a parade or citywide celebration,” says Kathy Nelson, President & CEO of the Kansas City Sports Commission. “Should the opportunity for celebration present itself, we are considering some options for the future when it is once again safe to gather. But we want to encourage everyone to focus on cheering the Chiefs to victory safely and to follow the health and safety guidelines that are currently in place.”
“We certainly understand and support the city’s decision. We hope that this journey ends with a victory in Tampa and if that’s the case, we will continue to work with the experts to celebrate safely when the time is appropriate”, states Mark Donovan, President of the Kansas City Chiefs.
“In order to ensure that our players, their families, and all of Chiefs Kingdom remain safe, the City of Kansas City — in consultation with our local health leaders and with support from the Kansas City Chiefs — has made the decision to forgo a victory celebration should the Chiefs defend their World Champion title next month in Tampa,” said Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.
“While we all wish we could celebrate a Super Bowl win down Grand Boulevard again with hundreds of thousands of fans, it would be inappropriate and irresponsible to put our players’ and fans’ safety at risk by hosting an in-person celebration,” Mayor Lucas said.
“We are still fighting a pandemic that has already taken nearly 2,000 lives in our region alone, and our top priority will continue to be keeping our region safe. As Chiefs Kingdom has done all season long, we look forward to responsibly cheering on our Chiefs to another Super Bowl win.”
For now, we encourage everyone to celebrate safely while watching the big game and cheer the team on to another Super Bowl championship.