ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Friday marked the largest Chiefs fan turnout ever for anything outside of Arrowhead Stadium. Thousands of people showed up, getting autographs from the entire squad. The obvious fan favorite even before a single game played as a Chief, new quarterback Alex Smith.
It was a sea of red as fan after fan flooded the fields at Missouri Western State University for the first open practice at chiefs training camp this year.
“Waiting a long time since December,” said Matt Byerley who drove up from Chanute,Kan.
On those fields, games, face painting, shopping and cheering on those who cheer the Chiefs.
“I was here on the first day of camp last year and there wasn’t near this many people here,” Byerley said.
But it was when the team took the field that the crowd really lit up.
“I like the Chiefs. I almost wore my Marcus Allen shirt but I thought I’d be a little outdated,” said life-long fan Martha Trail.
Ever faithful fans say it was the changes made in the off-season that make this season something to truly get excited about.
“The new quarterback, the new team, the new coach, the new general manager. I think they made great choices” Trail said.
“When you look at what they went through last year and all the struggles and adversity they had and they were really close in some games and I think people really see the potential there,” said Chad Frigon, the head football coach at Liberty High school who brought his entire squad up for the day.
And perched atop the stadium taking it all in two very happy mayors, Sly James of Kansas City and Bill Falkner of St. Joe.
“Kansas City fans are the most resilient fans in the world. We have not been able to provide the winning championship teams in the past 20-25 years that I think that they deserve and expect and yet they keep turning out, turning out, turning out,” said Mayor James.
“You can look at the crowd coming in, they are well loved here,” said Mayor Falkner.
The next big fan event is “American Family Fun Day” on August 3rd. Until then you can check out practice for free almost every day at 8:15 in the morning.