Up until 1991, Lamar Hunt seemed content keeping the Chiefs' off-season workouts close to the vest at neighboring William Jewell College, the sight of training camp for over 28 years. But the prospect of opposing team scrimmages with other members of the "Cheese League" proved too tempting for new head coach Marty Schottenhiemer.
After the Saints, Packers, and Bears eventually opted out of the multi-team practices; it left just the Chiefs and Vikings as the final two holdovers.
But after a series of skirmishes, including an all out battle royal started by current UFC Heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar, the final two remaining teams called it quits as well. Thus, there was little reason to continue making River Falls the Chiefs' training camp home.
Missouri Western State University, the City of St. Joseph, Buchanan County, and Clark Hunt have invested heavily in the new $13 million training camp home of the Chiefs. For at least the next 5 years, the newly constructed indoor practice facility, affectionately referred to as "The Barn", plus other amenities for food and beverages (which include alcohol sales), will be set up to make the whole training camp experience more enjoyable for the average fan.
The large investments should pay off for its investors on all fronts. 10,000 visitors per day are expected to visit the city, generating a considerable amount of revenue that won't fully be known until after camp begins.
But the investments should pay dividends. The school has set aside approximately 1,700 VIP parking spots at a cost of $10 a piece which should generate about $17,000 per day in parking alone.
The move, however, is not just beneficial to fans, but could also be used as a motivating tool for Todd Haley. "I just believe when you can give your fans a chance to get out there and see you it helps the cause", Haley said about the move to St. Joe. "It gives the team great energy anytime they are practicing in front of a bunch of people. I am hoping for big crowds everyday and I think it is good for everybody so I am excited."
Either way, with virtually every practice being free to the public, it should be an affordable experience for any curious fan with the only real loser being the city of River Falls itself.
21 Days to St. Joe: Moving Camp
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