<
>

Chiefs won't have time to take in London tourist attractions

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs won’t have time to be tourists during their trip to London for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions at Wembley Stadium.

That’s the way coach Andy Reid structured the trip.

“It’s not a vacation,’’ Reid said. “That’s not what this is. They can go do that another time. We’re going over to play a good Lions football team and we want to make sure we have maximum preparation right here and then understand why we’re going there.’’

The Chiefs will have their normal practice week until Thursday night. They’ll depart Kansas City at 7 p.m. and arrive in London about 9:30 a.m. on Friday, or about 8½ hours later. The Chiefs will practice Friday afternoon, have their usual meetings and walk-through on Saturday and play the Lions the following day.

They’ll return home right after the game. If that doesn’t leave any time for the players to see Buckingham Palace, that’s fine with Reid.

“I’m not really into all that,’’ he said. “Not that I don’t like England. But I just let the guys practice here, sleep in their own beds, familiarity. We’ll get ourselves over there [by Friday morning].’’

The Lions are leaving Detroit Monday night with a Tuesday morning arrival in London. They will practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in London.

That might seem backwards since the Chiefs are the home team and giving up a game at Arrowhead Stadium. But that’s the way each team decided to structure its week.

Even though the Chiefs are just 1-2 at Arrowhead this year, they generally have a nice advantage provided by their fans when they play at home. Reid has appreciated this since joining the Chiefs two years ago. The week of most home games, he publicly welcomes the opponent to Arrowhead in his remarks. Afterward, he rarely neglects to thank Chiefs fans.

But the Chiefs willingly relinquished a home game. President Mark Donovan said the Chiefs are expecting about 800 of their season-ticket holders in London for the game.

“I’m thinking there are probably a few of them that are going to cross the pond and come with us,’’ Reid said about losing a home game. “I look forward to seeing that.

“I would expect we would have a few fans over there.’’