The NFL lockout between the NFL Player’s Union and the league itself may seem like a national issue, but what happens if Missouri Western doesn’t get to host the Chiefs training camp?
Last summer, almost 60,000 fans came to campus to see the Chiefs. The money that was made off the camp wasn’t made off the fans just coming through the gates. It was made off of parking, concessions and other vendors that were selling items at the practices.
The revenue that the camp generated for the community wasn’t as much as some officials predicted that it would, but the exposure and small amount of revenue that the University gets is enormous.
The Griffon Indoor Sports Complex was built specifically for the Chiefs training camp. However, there may be three weeks open for the athletic department to rent out the complex and possibly make up for some of the revenue that would be lost with no training camp, but realistically, it won’t be as much as would be generated with it here.
The exposure that Missouri Western gets with the Chiefs coming here is enormous. It not only helps with national attention on Western, it also helps with getting students into the classrooms as well. If students are looking at colleges to attend and they choose to come to Western because they will have the chance to see the Chiefs training camp, or possibly get an internship with them for the summer, then that should be a success for the school.
When people look at the possibility of training camp not happening, they should realize that the bulk of the money isn’t made off of the camp concessions and merchandise alone. The biggest part that the school profits from is recruitment, both athletically and academically.
The internships that are available with the Chiefs provide a once in a lifetime opportunity for students to work for a professional sports team and put a valuable experience on their resume when they look for a job. Students need to be informed on a back up plan by the athletic department. Right now, many students don’t know what is going to happen if they apply for an internship and the camp is not held at all.
Missouri Western has promoted itself as a hands on learning environment and if we don’t have an opportunity to take part in this, then the students need to be informed so that they, too, can be making arrangements for a back up plan.
The school also provides something unique that not many schools have by hosting training camp. By doing this, it provides something attractive to area high school students and provides an incentive for them to come to Western rather than pay more money and go to MIzzou or UMKC.
If the NFL lockout continues, Missouri Western will have to try and find a way to make up for the lack of exposure that will be brought to the school. These issues aren’t something that can just be shrugged off and taken with a grain of salt and ignored. These are real issues that the school needs to be concerned with and needs to have a more secure backup plan than just hoping that we can get people to rent out the GISC. This isn’t just a money issue, it is an extraordinary opportunity for the students of Missouri Western. The athletic department needs to help keep the students informed on what is going to happen with the training camp situation so that a back up plan can be organized and put into affect This includes the possibility of camp being pushed back and how this will effect class schedules and other things if this is pushed back into the fall semester.
We realize that this isn’t all the athletic department’s fault. We as student’s just need more communication so that we know what is going on and if we need to make back up plans as well.