The news that the Chiefs will give up a home game to play the Lions in London next season has been met with very different reactions in Kansas City and in Detroit.
Chiefs fans are understandably unhappy: Kansas City has a strong local fan base that always sells out Arrowhead Stadium and gives its team a home-field advantage, and the Chiefs’ fans are wondering why they’re losing one of their eight home games. A poll on the Chiefs fan site Arrowhead Pride found that 83 percent of respondents disapprove and only 17 percent approve.
Chiefs owner Clark Hunt has said that he and his late father Lamar Hunt have always believed in growing the game abroad, and if the NFL is going to play games overseas to make that happen, teams are going to have to give up home games. But Chiefs fans want to know why those home games can’t be given up by teams that historically have struggled to fill their stadiums.
On the other side of things is Detroit, which now gets the advantage of playing a road game in London for the second consecutive year. That means the Lions get to play eight home, seven road and one neutral-field game in 2015, just as they get this year, when the Lions played the Falcons in an Atlanta “home” game at Wembley Stadium.
Lions President Tom Lewand said after the game was announced that the Lions view it as an advantage.
“It’s an incredible honor for us. It’s also an opportunity for us,” Lewand said. “We would not have given up a home game in Detroit.”
Chiefs fans would like to hear Hunt explain why the Chiefs are doing what the Lions wouldn’t have been willing to do.