'It's a bonus if she's here': Taylor Swift at Gillette Stadium to cheer on Travis Kelce

Swift was last at the venue when she performed for three nights in May during her Eras tour.

Providence Journal Staff
Providence Journal

Taylor Swift is in the building. Gillette Stadium, that is.

The pop star’s visit to Foxboro marks her seventh game cheering on her beau, tight end Travis Kelce, and the Kansas City Chiefs, where on Sunday they took on the New England Patriots. The Chiefs won, 27-17.

She arrived at the stadium in a black SUV and emerged wearing a black coat and white and red Chiefs hat; in a private box during the game, she still wore the beanie, along with a gray Chiefs sweatshirt. With her were her dad, longtime bestie Ashley Avignone, a stylist and interior decorator, Alana Haim of the band Haim and Melanie Nyema, a backup singer.

Fans filed in carrying signs shouting out to Swift; others lined up along the ramps and walkways hoping she would pass by on her way to the luxury boxes. Kelce himself walked past a Swift poster commemorating top acts that have come to Gillette Stadium.

Taylor Swift, center left, reacts to a play on the field with Brittany Mahomes, center right, during the first half of the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Patriots on Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

Swift, who is on a break from her Eras Tour, was shown on the scoreboard early in the second quarter. The crowd shrieked; she stuck out her tongue playfully, waved and blew the fans a kiss.

An Instagram feed devoted to tracking Swift's private jet noted that it landed at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick Sunday morning.

What the fans at Gillette are saying

“I know for a fact she’s here,” said Jordan Wilson, checking out a Patriots' merchandise table before the game at a parking lot near Gillette Stadium with friend Andrea Swanson.

Wilson didn’t buy the fan theory that when Swift attends games, Kelce wins. (For the record, the Chiefs are now 5-2 with Swift at Kelce's games.)

“I think she gives good luck, but only to Travis,” Wilson said.

She suspects the couple will marry and predicted an upcoming engagement. Wilson and Swanson, asked whether they were at the game for the sports or the singer, said it was both.

A group of tailgaters huddled in a parking lot. Two women said they were on the lookout for Swift.

"We're here for the game," said Ali C., who opted to provide only an initial for her last name. "But it's a bonus if she's here."

The group's cook, who was manning a small grill, said he didn't care if she showed.

Nearby, Patriots fan Brian Casey, also tailgating, showed some enthusiasm. 

"We're here for the football, but we're hoping T-Swift will make an appearance," he said.

Casey, however, struggled to name a song. Pausing, he said "Romeo and Juliet," apparently thinking of Swift's 2008 hit, "Love Story."

Meanwhile, a helicopter circled overhead. Casey's buddy joked maybe Swift was inside.

At the front of the lot, a Warwick man seemed uninterested in the prospect of a Swift showing, but noted his 15-year-old daughter believed she would appear. 

Fans display signs with messages to Taylor Swift and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce prior to the game on Sunday in Foxboro.

Did she swear after that no-call?

The Chiefs outplayed the Patriots, but Swift reacted the way many KC fans did when she saw boyfriend Kelce knocked down in the end zone. In fact, social media watchers debated whether she dropped an F-bomb on camera after there was no flag thrown on the Patriots' Myles Bryant, who may have committed pass interference against Kelce.

Fox cameras showed her reaction, a loud scream that might have started with an "F."

Kelce was shoved to the ground while the ball was in the air, and Swift was caught on camera reacting just like every other fan watching the game at home.

The obvious no-call didn't end up playing a major factor in the tilt's outcome, but in a season where officials have been calling games under a microscope, Swift's reaction was supremely relatable for fans on social media.

Taylor Swift has supported Kelce all season

Swift did allude to the couple's mutual support for each other's passions in a recent interview with Time magazine, which crowned her its "Person of the Year," a title she now shares with American presidents, popes and Elon Musk.

"When you say a relationship is public, that means I’m going to see him do what he loves — we’re showing up for each other, other people are there and we don’t care," Swift said. "The opposite of that is you have to go to an extreme amount of effort to make sure no one knows that you’re seeing someone. And we’re just proud of each other."

Swift has shown up at several Chiefs games to cheer on Kelce, though he was absent from her star-studded birthday with gal pals in New York City last week — understandable, considering that he had a mandatory practice.

On his walk through the tunnel to the field during pregame, Kelce strutted past her commemorative poster on the wall.

Without breaking stride, Kelce glanced up to admire the artwork.

Taylor Swift, center left, celebrates with Brittany Mahomes after the Kansas City Chiefs scored a touchdown against the Patriots on Sunday in Foxboro.

The Chiefs fans' reactions to Taylor Swift being at the games

Meanwhile, Chiefs fans have mixed reactions to Swift's appearances at games, which tend to become eclipsed by her presence.

"We’re not here for the relationship," Chiefs fan London Blandon told The Tennessean last month. "We don’t care about the drama. She’s doing her thing — good for her. But what does that have to do with football? I don’t see her putting on a helmet."

A fan wears a mask with a likeness of Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce and a sweatshirt with a likeness of Taylor Swift before the game between the Chiefs and Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.

Since she and boyfriend Kelce went public at the Sept. 24 matchup between the Chicago Bears and Kansas City Chiefs, Swift has attended seven of 12 games. They are:

  • Sept. 24: Chiefs beat the Bears, 41-10
  • Oct. 1: Chiefs beat the Jets, 23-20
  • Oct. 12: Chiefs beat the Broncos, 19-8
  • Oct. 22: Chiefs beat the Chargers, 31-17
  • Dec. 3: Packers beat the Chiefs, 27-19
  • Dec. 10: Bills beat the Chiefs, 20-17
  • Dec. 17: Chiefs beat the Patriots, 27-17

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With reports from the USA TODAY Network and the Associated Press.