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TOKYO — Will she make it in time?
Taylor Swift’s last song was still ringing in the ears of thousands of fans at the Tokyo Dome on Saturday night when the singer rushed to a private jet at Haneda airport, presumably embarking on an intensely scrutinized journey to see her boyfriend, NFL star Travis Kelce, play in the Super Bowl in Las Vegas.
“We’re all gonna go on a great adventure,” Swift earlier told the crowd. She was speaking of the music, but it might also describe her prospective race against time, which was to cross nine time zones and the international date line.
With a final bow at the end of her sold-out show, clad in a blue sequined outfit, the crowd screaming, strobe lights pulsing, confetti falling, Swift disappeared beneath the stage — and her journey to the other side of the world began.
Her expected trip to see Kelce’s Kansas City Chiefs play the San Francisco 49ers in Las Vegas on Sunday, U.S. time, has fired imaginations, and speculation, for weeks.
“I hope she can return in time. It’s so romantic,” said office worker Hitomi Takahashi, 29, who bought matching Taylor Swift sweatshirts with her friend and was taking photos just outside of the Tokyo Dome.
It wasn’t immediately clear late Saturday if Swift’s plane had left. About an hour after the end of the concert, Associated Press journalists were near Haneda’s private jet area when minivans drove up and someone went inside the gate area as four to five people carrying large black umbrellas obstructed the view of the person.
At Saturday night’s concert, there was plenty of evidence of the unique cultural phenomenon that is the Swift-Kelce relationship, a nexus of professional football and the huge star power of Swift. In addition to people wearing sequined dresses celebrating Swift in the packed Tokyo Dome, there were Travis Kelce jerseys and hats and other gear celebrating the Chiefs. Some in Tokyo spent thousands of dollars to attend the pop superstar’s concerts this week.
“Romeo, take me somewhere we can be alone,” Swift sang Saturday.
She won’t find that Sunday in Las Vegas when a sold-out crowd, not to mention millions around the world, will be watching her.
If she makes it, that is.
To call the worldwide scrutiny of Swift’s travels intense is an understatement.
Fans have tracked her jet. The planet-warming carbon emissions of her globe-trotting travels have been criticized. Officials have weighed in on her ability to park her jet in Las Vegas airports.
Even Japanese diplomats have gotten into the act. The Japanese Embassy in Washington posted on social media that she could make the Super Bowl in time, including in their statement three Swift song titles — “Speak Now”, “Fearless” and “Red.”
“If she departs Tokyo in the evening after her concert, she should comfortably arrive in Las Vegas before the Super Bowl begins,” it said.
Takahashi, the fan at the Tokyo Dome, was aware of the criticism Swift has faced about her private jets, but said the singer was being singled out unfairly.
“Many other people are flying on business, and she is here for her work. She faces a bashing because she is famous and stands out,” Takahashi said.
Swift has been crisscrossing the globe this week already.
Before coming to Asia, she attended the Grammys in Los Angeles, winning her 14th Grammy and a record-breaking fourth Album of the Year award for “Midnights.” The show was watched by nearly 17 million people. She also made a surprise announcement that her next album is ready to drop in April.
Then the four concerts in Tokyo, and now apparently a rushed trip to try to make it to Las Vegas to watch Kelce, the tight end for the Chiefs, play in the Super Bowl. She has followed Kelce for much of the Chiefs’ season.
If it all goes as planned, she’s then expected to fly to Australia later this week to continue her tour.
“This week is truly the best kind of chaos,” Swift posted Wednesday on Instagram.