ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs are back in St. Joseph, Missouri, ready to kick off practice Saturday morning.
Patrick Mahomes and the rest of the Chiefs quarterbacks and rookies reported to camp Friday at Missouri Western State University. It’s the team’s first trip to camp since 2019 because of the pandemic.
“We’re glad to be back up here in St. Joe we love the hospitality that they give us here at Missouri Western,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said.
And the city of St. Joe loves them right back. Signs have been placed around town welcoming the two-time defending AFC Champions and 2019 Super Bowl Champions back to their home away from home.
The co-owner of the Muny Inn is a season ticket holder. That means he’ll be among the first to see the team Wednesday a day before their first open practice to everyone else. He had a special shirt made for the occasion which is also available for sale at the bar.
“It’s been a long year for everybody and we’re just excited to have them back and the whole town is revved up and ready, so it’s go time,” Timmy Lawrence said.
No studies have ever been done on the economic impact of Chiefs training camp. But locals say not only does it further their bond with the team, but it means a lot to have all those fans here, a record 63,000 of them in 2019.
“It’s our chance to show what we’ve got to offer because we’ve got it all up here, history, great restaurants night life,” Lawrence said.
Attendance will be limited under COVID-19 protocols and there will be no autographs or meet-and-greet sessions. That’s one thing they’ll miss over at Cabana, a nearby fast food and ice cream shop which always see a big influx of customers each day after training camp.
“They tell us their story when they were at training camp what they saw or someone they got to meet so we really do enjoy that,” Manager Katie Burns said.
But if the protocols let vaccinated players stop by, they say their ready.
“We have lots of ketchup, I have it in large cans,” Burns joked about Mahomes’ favorite condiment.