Talks with the Super Bowl champions on whether or not they plan to come back to Missouri Western for Chiefs Camp are still up in the air.
And while nothing has been finalized just yet, MWSU President Matthew Wilson acknowledged the community benefits from the camp, attracting many to the city of St. Joseph.
“A lot of people might think that Missouri Western makes money off of Chiefs Camp. We don’t. It really is a service that we provide to the community, and it’s something that I think over the last 10 years we have seen the value that it brings,” he said. “From a hypothetical standpoint, as we look to the future and what it might bring, whether it’s the Kansas City Chiefs on our campus or another entity or organization taking advantage of our world-class facilities, there’s always things that you would look to do to try and make the experiences as comfortable for the fans (as possible).”
Wilson didn’t go into specifics about an increase in seating or security should the Chiefs return to St. Joseph this summer, though the university saw a record-breaking number of people attend 2019’s event, with Patrick Mahomes selected as the league’s MVP.
Hosting a Super Bowl team, however, is a different story.
Wilson said it’s a bit early to be talking Chiefs Training Camp with the Super Bowl having just ended this weekend, but he believes that within the next few months, they’ll turn their attention to prepping for next season.
“This year being a special year, I’m sure that has pushed things back substantially for the Chiefs in terms of making any decision about training camp, simply because they’re playing in February,” Wilson said of the Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory. “I would just assume that this is something that the Chiefs will turn their attention to over the course of the next couple of months. And, you know, we can kind of move forward from there.”
On a separate note, Wilson also discussed a petition gaining traction online regarding the university cancelling classes on Wednesday to allow students and staff to attend the Chiefs celebration event in Kansas City. Such a decision would follow in the footsteps of the St. Joseph School District as well as Catholic schools in the area.
“The emails actually started to roll as well as the tweets before the game yesterday, and it was, ‘Hypothetically speaking, in the event that the Chiefs win, you know, we’ve been waiting for this for 50 years.’ And that is interesting that some of our 20-year-old students have been waiting 50 years for this day,” Wilson laughed. “I appreciate the excitement. In terms of canceling classes, we’re taking everybody’s input under advisement. One of the things is we also value the education that our students are paying for, and to deprive them of that opportunity and their tuition dollars, I mean, that’s something that we’re looking to balance with the excitement of the day, together with our obligation to students, whether they’re Chiefs fans, football fans or not.”
Though the online petition was swiftly approaching 2,500 signatures as of Monday evening, Missouri Western does not plan to cancel classes on Wednesday.
“We have an obligation to our students to keep our classes open as much as possible,” Wilson said in an email on Monday.