ST. JOSEPH — St. Joseph, Missouri is gearing up for another Chiefs Training Camp at Missouri Western after rookies and quarterbacks reported Friday with the rest of the team expected in the coming days.

Signs lining downtown roads and in business windows welcome everyone but warn about what’s coming when thousands of fan move through the streets and pack into a small downtown park for rallys.

“We end up with thousands of people in that small little space,” said Ground Round Restaurant Assistant Manager Christina Hoffman.

Hoffman says the last two years have been tough. The Chiefs’ 2020 Super Bowl win was right before COVID started, robbing fans and St. Joe of a massive celebration the following year.

The year 2021 was better, but Hoffman said there were still a lot of restrictions.

“This year’s full out everything,” Hoffman said. “We’re keeping out fingers crossed that this [COVID case count] increase that they’re talking about won’t hurt business again.”

For now, COVID case numbers aren’t as bad in St. Joseph’s Buchanan County as they are in neighboring Andrew, DeKalb, and Clinton Counties, so Hoffman is hoping it stays that way.

In the meantime, she’s hoping visitors come for Chiefs football and stay after finding other fun things to do around the community.

“We’ve had a lot of individuals that come down here and then they go to our museums, and our parks, and out by the river is the Remington Nature Center and they don’t know that all of this is here,” said Hoffman. “A lot of them made mention of that fact that, ‘Oh, I didn’t know St. Joe.”

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