Chiefs Camp at Western runs smoothly in third year
By Kyle Inman
September 1, 2012
Despite having less practices and not opening up the walkthroughs, the third year of Missouri Western hosting the Kansas City Chiefs training camp was a success.
Chiefs camp gives Western the opportunity to make money through $5 parking and charging $5 to attend family fun day and a joint practice between the Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals, who were also on campus for part of their camp.
“If you just take the gates, the parking and the two paid days, we made about $22,000 more than we did the previous year on the paid stuff,” Athletic Director Kurt McGuffin said. “That doesn’t include sponsorships or anything like that, which is our other source of revenue.”
It takes a large amount of people working together to prepare the campus for the type of large crowds that the Chiefs can draw. The main issues that the staff faces is making sure the parking and traffic flow is efficient and that they can take on large crowds of people.
“The folks on the campus all work well together, there’s a lot of people with a lot of roles,” said Brett Esely, Western assistant director of athletics. “I think the operation went very well. We had 6,500 people at night practice, 7,000 for Family Fun Day and just under 3,000 for Cardinals practice. I think anybody that came, we were ready for them.”
The attendance was up for camp this year as opposed to last year. The job Western did in accommodating the Cardinals may have opened its eyes as they are now looking for a new place to hold their training camp in the future other than Arizona.
“They expect a sense of quality, and we gave it to them,” McGuffin said. “We provided shade for people because it was hot. Hy-Vee told me it was up in their concessions and that’s good.”
Chiefs training camp is guaranteed to be on the Western campus for the next two years and in the state of Missouri for five more after that. McGuffin plans to start negotiations to keep the team at Western for the next five years they will spend preparing for the season in Missouri after next summer.
With the Chiefs on campus, coach Jerry Partridge’s football team has a chance to see how the professionals prepare for a season.
“I think anytime you can watch a higher level practice then it’s always good to see what it takes and what people are made of,” Partridge said. “There’s a lot to be gained in watching the designs of the practices and the work ethic.
Although the camp was considered a success this year, McGuffin would like to fine-tune some things in order to keep making each year a special for the fans.
“Now we are going to be in year four next year and everything has kind of been the same for the first three years. Now what do we do to get people to continue to come back. Maybe it’s fireworks or a concert so we can have something that’s an added bonus.”