The Kansas City Chiefs are exactly one week away from reporting to training camp and it looks like their new facilities at Missouri Western State University will be ready for them. Chiefs president Denny Thum talked to The Star about the long journey the team and school took to get this far.
“I can remember the first trip up here in November of 2002 and looking at the facilities close to the Kansas City area, trying to bring training camp back to the state of Missouri during the Dick Vermeil era.
“This ended up being a great facility, a great community to work with in St. Joe. The university has been fantastic to work with. If you told me that we could get this completed in one year . . . I had my doubts.
“Every time there was a major snowstorm or there was a storm like there was last night (Tuesday), I didn’t think it was going to get done. It took a long time to get the final pieces of the roof on. Once that was complete, they were able to go to town and get the interior done. We’re excited it is complete.”
The fans seem to be just as excited as Thum and the Chiefs are that all of the most important aspects of the new facility will be finished in time for next week. Even though it will be odd not having training camp up at River Falls, it is huge that more fans will be able to experience watching the team come together throughout the Summer.
When all of the details were first released, I was all but convinced that we would see one more year up in Wisconsin because there was no way this facility would get done so quickly. Yet, here we are a week away from the reporting date and all systems are a go. The Chiefs and Missouri Western deserve a lot of credit for keeping their foot on the gas pedal throughout this process to get everything done on time.
The Chiefs committed last year to bringing their camp to Missouri Western in 2010, but only if the facilities were finished. When last year they departed from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, their summer host for the last 19 years, the Chiefs inquired about the feasibility of returning for one final year.
That wasn’t necessary, and the Chiefs are hopeful of benefiting from their camp’s new proximity to Kansas City. The Chiefs have night practices scheduled for Aug. 4 and Aug. 18. The annual family fun day is on Aug. 7.