Prayer candles adorned with the faces of Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift gaze out from store home windows. Chiefs flags flutter on automobile home windows zipping down highways. Crimson clothes seems to be obligatory.
Kansas Metropolis, Mo., has misplaced its thoughts, and fortunately so.
Its beloved Chiefs are headed to the Tremendous Bowl on Sunday, the group’s fourth journey in 5 years. This time, what has propelled a normally down-to-earth metropolis right into a heightened state of euphoria is the glittery presence of Ms. Swift, who since final summer season has been relationship Mr. Kelce, the Chiefs’ star tight finish, and occupying an everyday place at soccer video games, eating places in Kansas Metropolis and Mr. Kelce’s $6 million mansion within the suburbs.
Most necessary within the minds of Kansas Metropolis residents is a Tremendous Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers. However they’re tantalized by potentialities past the sport.
Might Kansas Metropolis, a spot that’s usually disregarded of the nationwide dialog, see its fortunes and financial system buoyed due to Ms. Swift? Is the couple contemplating an engagement, as many residents are hoping?
Would possibly essentially the most well-known lady on this planet really transfer to the Midwest, a area that folks on the coasts often (and unfairly) painting as an unlimited, amorphous blob of blandness?
“Kansas Metropolis has wanted this oomph for some time,” stated a beaming Deanna Martin, 75, of Olathe, Kan., as she strolled via Kansas Metropolis together with her husband, Don, this week. “It is going to carry younger individuals in.”
“They appear like such an exquisite couple,” stated Mr. Martin, 76, who was wearing Chiefs gear. “It’s simply added one thing additional particular to the entire Tremendous Bowl factor.”
In a matter of months, town’s id — mostly linked to its abundance of fantastic barbecue eating places — has turn into giddily intertwined with Ms. Swift, who grew up in Pennsylvania and Tennessee and owns properties together with a penthouse condo in New York Metropolis.
At colleges throughout the Kansas Metropolis metropolitan space this week, festivities for the Tremendous Bowl included “Travis and Taylor Tuesday,” when 1000’s of scholars arrived at elementary and center colleges in costume, carrying “87” jerseys, pink-sequined skirts and friendship bracelets on their wrists.
Suburban dad and mom discuss which colleges the hypothetical Swift-Kelce offspring may attend. Carla Bryan, a season-ticket holder who has a room in her residence in Blue Springs, Mo., that’s dedicated to Chiefs gear, spoke of Mr. Kelce with a sure protectiveness, as if he had been a favourite nephew.
“I’ve by no means seen him so completely happy,” she stated. “I simply need him to place the ring on it, and get it achieved, and have these little Taylorettes and Travisettes.”
Small companies in Kansas Metropolis have been reveling within the frenzy, promoting customized merchandise enjoying on the connection between Ms. Swift and Mr. Kelce.
“We are able to’t maintain Travis and Taylor stuff in inventory,” stated Kari Lindner, the overall supervisor of Made in KC, as she stood amid shows of trinkets, clothes and baseball caps. (One instance: a pink-and-cream T-shirt that learn “It’s a KC love story: Tay & Trav.”)
Inns within the Kansas Metropolis space are filling up for this weekend, despite the fact that the Tremendous Bowl is being performed in Las Vegas. Angie Brock, gross sales and advertising and marketing coordinator for the Resort Phillips, stated that she anticipated the downtown space to be filled with each soccer followers and Swifties — together with loads of ladies who had been solely mildly within the recreation earlier than Ms. Swift grew to become a part of the enjoyable.
“We’re all questioning if Taylor will probably be on the Tremendous Bowl parade,” stated Ms. Brock, who shares the widespread presumption within the metropolis that it will likely be the Chiefs who will lead the victory parade.
All of it provides as much as a way that Kansas Metropolis, residence to only over half 1,000,000 individuals, is rising extra seen nationally, a thrill to residents and metropolis officers.
Possibly now that Ms. Swift is related to town, they are saying, extra individuals will uncover its museums, low price of residing and simple commutes. (She has additionally supplied a distraction from a few of the metropolis’s entrenched issues, together with a excessive murder fee that has defied the nationwide downward development.)
“Kansas Metropolis is rising,” Ms. Brock stated. “We’re not New York or Chicago, however we’re getting there. We’re displaying those who we now have cool stuff happening right here.”
At a Rotary Membership occasion in Kansas Metropolis on Monday, members couldn’t cease speaking in regards to the Tremendous Bowl. They marveled on the excessive degree of group spirit, the sense of chance and their satisfaction in Kansas Metropolis, stated Vivien Jennings, a longtime resident of the world who owned a bookstore within the suburb of Fairway, Kan., for almost a half-century, till final 12 months.
Additionally mentioned on the assembly: the secondhand pleasure gleaned from glimpses of Ms. Swift leaping up and down in a luxurious field at Chiefs video games, Ms. Jennings added, and the “victory kissing” by the couple after a victory.
“It’s been so enjoyable to be out with individuals and discuss it, as a result of usually I’m speaking about books,” Ms. Jennings stated.
On the very least, the highlight on Kansas Metropolis may ultimately clear up a generally confused matter.
Bethann Roten, a Kansas Metropolis native who now lives in San Antonio, flew into town on Sunday and was irked to listen to a flight attendant combine up the 2 Kansas Cities — one in Missouri and the smaller one simply throughout the state line in Kansas.
“As we landed, he stated, ‘Welcome to Kansas,’ despite the fact that we had been in Missouri,” Ms. Roten stated. “And I used to be wanting round, pondering, no person’s correcting him!”
“Possibly Taylor will put Kansas Metropolis on the map,” she stated.
Even the mayor of Kansas Metropolis, Mo., Quinton Lucas, has observed one thing completely different recently in his interactions with individuals outdoors of the Midwest.
On a current journey to France to satisfy with different officers, Mr. Lucas stated, a lady who labored for the French authorities approached him.
“She stated, ‘I’ve to say, my daughters had been actually that the mayor of Kansas Metropolis is right here in Paris, as a result of they’re large Taylor Swift followers,’” Mr. Lucas stated in an interview in his wood-paneled workplace.
“That is the primary 12 months once I’ve been at completely different convention conferences the place persons are like, ‘Kansas Metropolis is type of the “it” metropolis,’” he stated.
Mr. Lucas, a lifelong Chiefs fan, visited an elementary college this week to speak to college students about what a mayor’s duties entail.
“Nothing I do is fascinating till I say, ‘I meet the Chiefs,’” he stated, telling the youngsters that he knew each the group’s quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, and Mr. Kelce.
“They had been like, ‘Cool!’” he recalled. “Then I stated, ‘However I’ve not met Taylor Swift.’”
The kids groaned in unison.