Minnesota football fanatics were bracing for their beloved Vikings to square off against the visiting Kansas City Chiefs – with many excitedly waiting to hear if Taylor Swift will show up for the third straight game to support new beau Travis Kelce.
The star stole the show in Kelce’s latest outings, building fervent speculation over whether she will make the trip to the Midwest on Sunday evening.
Swift’s camp offered little indication over whether she will attend, a fact that didn’t stop her legion of fans from shelling out for the big game.
However, she was nowhere to be seen at US Bank Stadium before kickoff on Sunday, with the pop sensation appearing to swerve Kelce’s latest game.
News that Swift didn’t make the trip over spread rapidly after the game started, with the NFL officially confirming their newest star wasn’t among the packed crowd of roughly 66,000 people.
Taylor Swift has attended back-to-back games of her boyfriend, Travis Kelce, this season
This week, the Chiefs go to Minneapolis – where Vikings fans wait to see if Swift will show up
Some fans of the Chiefs, including the Anderson family, stood outside KC’s hotel to see Swift
A sea of Kansas City fans travelled up to show their support for the team on the day
While some Swift fans might be feeling bad blood over the decision, longtime football fanatics didn’t let it affect the game.
Kenny Bergman, 28, a longtime Chiefs fan who lives in Minneapolis, said he ‘couldn’t care less’ that she wasn’t there.
‘I mean, it’s great for the city and it’s great publicity, but it wasn’t the reason I came,’ he told DailyMail.com.
‘I enjoy the promotion of the city of Kansas, but it can take away from it can feel a bit cynical at times with all the branding behind it.
‘We heard a lot of hype around it, it’s obviously been publicised a lot, but it certainly didn’t affect if we were going to come or not.’
The Anderson family, who were waiting outside the team hotel hoping to catch an early glimpse of Kelce and Mahomes, were in Arrowhead Stadium when Taylor Swift showed up two weeks ago.
‘There was a huge buzz’ said Dan Anderson, 40.
‘We were right underneath Mahomes’ suite… loads of people weren’t really watching the game they were just watching what she was doing.
‘I think (the relationship) is just fun, I think I don’t follow it as closely as my wife does now.’
‘It’s going to be fun to see where it goes and how many games she goes to,’ added Chelsea Anderson, 40, saying she hopes the romance is ‘true love’.
Ivy McCay, 9, and sister Olive, 11, traveled to Minnesota with their father for Sunday’s game
Birthday fever also brought Jack McCrilly, 10, to the Minneapolis to cheer on the Chiefs
‘The town is so excited about it, everyone’s talking about it all the time when you bring up the Chiefs.’
She said the moment when Taylor Swift showed up in Arrowhead was ‘really exciting’, adding that as soon as rumor spread she was in the building ‘everyone was trying to find her.’
The family, with sons Eli and Owen, drove up from Leawood, Kansas, as a special 11th birthday present for Owen – who predicted a huge Chiefs win and Kelce touchdown.
Birthday fever also brought Jack McCrilly, 10, to the city to cheer on the Chiefs, but admitted he was less interested in Taylor Swift’s potential appearance.
He held a sign celebrating his birthday in Chiefs-style and said he was ‘super excited’ to see the team – just moments before Kelce stepped out of the team hotel to raucous cheers.
Before the tense football mania gets underway, a family atmosphere built all morning in the sun.
‘I’m excited to see if Taylor Swift is going to be here,’ said Ivy McCay, 9, admitting she was also looking forward to her second NFL game.
She said that she thought Kelce and Swift’s public romance is ‘really cool’, but felt – like many Minnesotans – her appearances might not be for everyone.
‘The NFL is getting mad because they think it’s all for attention…
‘Kelce is in like 100 ads, he doesn’t need the attention,’ she added, which her sister Olive, 11, agreed with as Taylor is ‘already a household name.’
Swift’s whirlwind romance with Kelce has been taking the world of sports by storm
Even in Minnesota, Swifties can find baked goods celebrating the visiting team’s tight end
Their dad Brandon added: ‘I don’t understand the hate, Travis is just having a good time.’
While some locals have reacted with frustration at Swift’s emergence as a footballing figurehead in recent weeks, Minnesota businesses were more than happy the circus came to town.
At CakeWalk, a bakery in Northfield around 45 minutes from the stadium, novelty football-shirt cookies flew off the shelf so quickly the business ran out in only a day.
‘I’m a huge Vikings fan but I had to do this for the Swifties,’ owner Teara Myers told DailyMail.com.
She said a social media post showing off the parody cookies quickly garnered tens of thousands of clicks, a surge in business she puts down to the mania over Swift’s latest romance.
‘I was shocked!’ she said, adding that she ‘didn’t realize how these would go over’ until customers took them ‘all in good fun.’
‘I hope we don’t have to bake a breakup cookie,’ she added.
The bitter football rivalry was also put aside at Hanisch, a coffee shop that joked about a new nickname seemingly created for the Kansas City team after Kelce’s fling – with baked goods for fans dubbing them the ‘KC Swifties.’
‘Hanisch Bakery and Coffee Shop is welcoming all fans of sports to Red Wing this weekend, even the new fans of the recently renamed team Kansas City Swifties,’ manager Bill Hanisch told DailyMail.com.
‘It is great to see Taylor really help a struggling fan base and shine a bright light on the community of Kansas City! Go Taylor’s Boyfriend!’
Rowdy crowds outside the stadium enjoyed a raucous pro-Vikings concert – but the hometown bias did little to dull the excitement of friends Carlie Iverson, 31, Molli Heit-Susan, 31, and Christine Chrisborough, 32.
‘100 percent, she’s gonna be here,’ said Carlie, who said she is a Swift ‘super fan.’
‘No she’s not!’ replied Minnesota-native Molli, adding that she was at the first game Swift showed up at and it ‘had no affect on me at that game whatsoever.’
Friends Carlie Iverson, 31, Molli Heit-Susan, 31, and Christine Chrisborough, 32, were divided over whether Swift would appear or not
Carlie said Swift ‘got me through my breakup’ and disagreed that the relationship is a PR stunt
Several fans have flocked to the game in anticipation of Swift making an appearance
Their high school best friend Christine had mixed feelings, but Carlie reasoned that as Swift apparently didn’t travel to Kansas to celebrate Kelce’s birthday this week, she’ll be here ‘to make it up to him.’
Carlie said Swift ‘got me through my breakup’, and disagreed with some that the relationship is a PR stunt.
‘If they show her on the big screen that would be so exciting, to be in the same place as her,’ added the Swiftie super fan.
‘I think they’re meant to be together,’ she concluded.
Their love of Swift was not matched by Vikings fan Megan, who said she thought the relationship was a tactic to bring new fans to the sport.
‘I think it’s to get young people and women to the game,’ she said, feeling it was ‘fake’.
‘We thought about selling our tickets because you could get more money (from the Taylor Swift hype).’
But the supporter admitted her friends, who she joined only as her Vikings super fan husband was out of town, are bigger fans and she ‘doesn’t really care about Taylor or Football.’
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