The Kansas City Chiefs have already set attendance records during their first year in St. Joseph after holding training camp in River Falls for nearly 20 years. So it should come as no surprise that general manager Scott Pioli has no regrets over making the move.
“This has been unbelievable,” Pioli told reporters after practice this morning.
“It has been fabulous for us in terms of facilities, the closeness of everything, the energy from the fans. There is a different energy here that the players talk about on a daily basis. They are encouraged every single day that they are out here. We are encouraged. We are home, this is where we are supposed to be and I am glad we are here.”
And Pioli noted that selecting “the right” kind of players has helped keep the team from being distracted due to the proximity to Kansas City. Besides, Pioli says, there’s nothing wrong with being able to see your family during camp.
“They get a couple minutes to spend time, to see their families and reconnect, which again, helps foster all the things we are trying to create with the team and the players as a whole.”
From the beginning it was clear that the Chiefs would bring much needed revenue into St. Joe and that more fans would be able to experience training camp, but did anyone really expect this kind of response? It’s one thing to pack the place for Family Fun Night, but how about the practice under the lights last week or the fans willing to deal with 100+ degree heat?
Call me biased — or any other word of your choosing — all you want, I have no problem defending this fan base as one of the best in the league.
Every team gets fans to show up during the preseason, but it takes something special to keep coming out every day especially with the weather being so consistently unbearable.