This year marks the end of the Kansas City Chiefs’ contract with Missouri Western State University, meaning this could be the last training camp St. Joseph will see.
The team’s possible departure leaves local residents wondering if this will have a negative impact on the community.
Local resident Justen Smith said he feels businesses may be impacted if the Chiefs don’t return next year.
“I know a lot of businesses around here have seen an influx of participation,” Smith said. “I imagine there would be some traffic those two or three weeks we would lose.”
Students at Missouri Western feel the energy in the community around this time of year and think the camp is vital. Cameron Price, a senior at the university, described the camp as a way to bring people together.
“I feel like it’s really doing a lot for this community. I’m not a St. Joseph native, so just seeing it is very invigorating,” Price said. “I’m personally from St. Louis (so) back when we had the Rams this was a normal thing for us, but for a city that doesn’t have a major sports team this is very big.”
Another Missouri Western student, Jordan Alford, said the surge of people interested in seeing the NFL team has helped the city in other ways.
“People come here not only just to see training camp, but once they’re here they’ll stick around,” Alford said. “I definitely think that it has brought a lot of traffic to St. Joseph.”
Price pointed out that the camp has become a fixture of the community in the past 10 years and losing it may have a negative impact.
“I feel like if the training camp leaves so does a large part of the community,” Price said. “Of course St. Joe is still going to be St. Joe, but I feel like the training camp really does aid the city so much.”