(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) -- The 2019 edition of Kansas City Chiefs training camp in St. Joseph ended as it began -- with huge crowds adoring the team. In fact, according to camp organizers, final numbers will show 63,000 fans going through the turnstiles during the three week event, topping the previous high of 60,000 set during 2010, the first year of camp in St. Joseph.
"It rewrote the attendance record books in every way, shape and form," said Josh Looney, athletic director at Missouri Western State University, which hosted the team on its campus.
But even before the final whistle blew, many were already looking ahead to the future of camp, both next year and beyond. This 10th camp in St. Joseph was the final year of an agreement between the Chiefs and MWSU. There have been hints that the team could entertain options from other communities wanting to host camp or even stay in Kansas City at their facility at Arrowhead.
However, anyone out there wanting to sway the Chiefs away from St. Joseph will have a tough act to beat, according to Looney.
"I'd leave this 10th training camp and say, 'Hey, if I were another city bidding, I'd wish them luck,'" Looney said. "But, I wouldn't want to be the one responsible for replicating what's going on here because it's pretty special, pretty darn efficient."
Those thoughts were echoed by the man who will have a lot to say regarding the future of camp, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid.
"I'm a big fan of Missouri Western State University. I love what they do with us here. It's phenomenal," Reid said.
From the Red Rally held in downtown St. Joseph the night before camp opened, the city rolled out the red carpet for Reid and the rest of the team.
Between the fans' enthusiasm and the top-notch facilities that have been built and expanded over ten years, Looney believes training camp in St. Joseph gives the team good momentum heading into a season.
"If they feel they didn't have an advantage, they wouldn't keep coming back to Missouri Western year after year after year," he said.
The extra effort to provide a positive experience for the Chiefs is not lost on the head coach.
"I love what they do for us," Reid said. "All the way from the guys who take care of the field and the security people, the people who cook for us, the people that clean the dorms, all the way around, it's a great atmosphere."
A decision on the future of Chiefs training camp is not expected for several months.
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