The year was 1984. Kansas City and Arrowhead stadium were the center of the entertainment world. Mary Hart and John Tesh anchored a live edition of Entertainment Tonight from the parking lot. Tickets for the event were a record-breaking $30 a piece. The Goodyear blimp was over the stadium as the Jacksons Victory Tour launched their world tour right here in my hometown.
While I was never the biggest Michael Jackson fan, I do recall being in the audience to see the concert and being amazed at the light show, the dancing and the singing performances — even from Tito. Michael magically moonwalked across the stage and, to me, it seemed like nothing could eclipse this moment for Kansas City.
Forty years later, KC has hosted Presidents, three World Series, NFL Drafts, major conventions and hundreds of big concerts at Arrowhead, Kauffman, and other venues across town. The Rolling Stones. Billy Joel. Michael’s little sister Janet, they’ve all played in KC recently.
But KC hasn’t seen anything like Taylor Swift — and it might never again. Swift played to a capacity Arrowhead crowd over the summer and the city was buzzing for weeks before and after the concert. And then, THEN, she goes and starts dating the Chiefs Travis Kelce in only the most public way during last Sunday’s game. Even those living in caves had to have heard about this by now.
A rock star and an athlete at the top of his game is newsworthy, but the world’s biggest rock star and a world champion athlete? The results are seismic. And all this in Kansas City? What on earth do you think they did after the game? Maybe run by QuikTrip for some roller food? Stop by Mahomes’ Whataburger off Barry Road? Maybe hit up Town Topic for a bowl of late night chili?
Maybe Trav drove TayTay all the way up to Platte City to tour the historic Platte County Landmark offices, only to find that Ivan Foley had sold the building a few weeks earlier. Talk about Bad Blood.
Still, I’m left with some civic pride even though I know neither Travis or Taylor are lifelong Kansas Citians and only find themselves as star-crossed lovers in a love story that happens to be set in Kansas City. But just as I did then 40 years ago as I did this past weekend, I am thrilled that Kansas City is the center of attention, and I hope that Taylor asked for extra cheesy corn with her burnt ends.
(Get more on Travis and Taylor and other important things from Chris Kamler on X, the app formerly known as Twitter, where you’ll find him as @TheFakeNed)