ST. JOSEPH, Mo.—The prospect of a new NFL labor agreement is good news for St. Joseph, where - if a deal is approved - Kansas City Chiefs training camp could begin as soon as next week.
Last year, the Chiefs' three-week long training camp at Missouri Western State University generated $20 million in economic activity for the city. That amount includes one-time costs of building new facilities for the team, but officials say that there is still a lot of money at stake if the camp were to be shortened or canceled.
On Tuesday, crews at Missouri Western State worked to prepare fields and set up stands for spectators. The school is keeping their fingers crossed that training camp won't be delayed, because that could interfere with the beginning of the school year.
"They're going to be here if they at all can, even if it happened to be a shortened camp. Our problem would be on the back-end because of school starting and that sort of thing, after the weekend of the 18th and 19th it would be not possible for us to host the camp," said Dan Nicoson of Missouri Western.
For St. Joseph Mayor Bill Falkner, training camp would be a welcome diversion from a summer of flooding along the Missouri River.
"The momentum was going for bringing the camp here, last year for one year, and not having it, it would have been very disappointing," said Falkner.
Last year, the university charged $10 to park close-in to Chiefs training camp. A lot of fans didn't like that, so this year the school is talking about cutting that in half to $5, but eliminating all of the free parking. The university also says it will move concessions stands closer to the practice fields this year to make the camp more fan-friendly.
For St. Joseph businesses like the Hoof and Horn, Chiefs training camp last year brought a big boost to their bottom lines.
"Typically August is a slow month for us. You know vacations for people, people going out of town not into town, getting ready for school, so it made a big impact for us," said owner Dee Swope.