From the very beginning of the process moving the Chiefs from River Falls, WI to St. Joseph, MO the project was sold as a win-win for the team and fans. But there will also be a long lasting effect for Missouri Western starting with recruiting. Western head coach Jerry Partridge told the Maryville Daily Forum having new facilities will be better than his rivals playing each other at Arrowhead every year.
“I’ll be honest with you, that Arrowhead game doesn’t help us, every year when Northwest and Pitt play,” Partridge said. “But now, it’s unbelievable, the Chiefs are coming to us. We’re not going to have to go to Kansas City.”
Partridge and Western’s Director of Athletics Dave Williams both acknowledged that recruiting is still very much about building relationships with athletes.
“It’s still a people game,” Williams said.
But as Patridge said, “18-year-old kids like shiny things, and this is pretty shiny.”
The Chiefs are going to completely change St. Joseph. Not only will they bring a huge amount of new revenue into the town every summer for a month, but any improvement by the MWSU football program due to the new facilities will bring more people (and money) to campus.
Recruiting is a completely different animal at this level than the Big 12, making the quality of facilities ten time more important. Having graduated from a very small D-I school I’ve seen first hand how much recruiting improves when a school has a new building to sell on campus visits.