The Kansas City Chiefs decision to move training camp back to Missouri is proving to be beneficial to fans.
Back when they were in River Falls, WI, it wasn't uncommon to see less than 100 fans make the trip. As a player, that probably doesn't do a lot for you.
But now, in St. Joe, the fans are flocking out to Missouri Western State University to see the Chiefs.
A few notes and observations about the fans after the jump.
On the first day, there were over 3,000 fans that attended. That's a slightly low number but remember it was raining that day and practice was inside for the first (no fans allowed in there) and outside for the second half.
On the second day, there were over 5,000 fans that attended. This was Saturday when more people had time to attend. It was hot (very hot) but not rainy so more folks were willing to attend.
On the third day, I didn't catch an attendance figure but it was in the 4-5,000 range compared to the other days.
Some officials were hoping for 100,000 total fans to come through which would require an average of nearly 5,000 per day. I'm not sure if they'll hit that ambitious number.
Players and coaches have been unanimous in their belief that the fans make a difference. Todd Haley has said on a number of occasions that once you hit day number seven, eight and nine the fans will be big factors in the players motivation. It's easy to get pumped up for the first few days, he says, so the fans will come in handy.
The biggest fan favorites are a tie between these four: Dwayne Bowe, Dexter McCluster, Charlie Weis and Todd Haley. Bowe interacts with the fans at times and McCluster is probably the most entertaining player on the field. Weis and Haley draw cheers when they chew out a player for a mistake. The fans can hear everything.
Other observations about the fans:
- Some of the jerseys are hilarious. For example: #34 Larry Johnson rookie jersey, Tamarick Vanover and a #9 Tech N9ne customized jersey. One of these days I'm going to count up the total jerseys. Tony Gonzalez probably leads the way with Trent Green and Priest Holmes behind him.
- One fan fainted on Saturday and camp officials had to tend to him.
- Water is available for free and for purchase. For free, they are in dixie-sized cups. For purchase, it's $3. You'll need water for sure with the heat.
- Fans do tailgate out here. Every day on my walk through the stadium to the parking lot I see a handful of cars tailgating. I haven't yet crashed a tailgate party but I may need to next time I see someone smoking some ribs. You know, since I need to "cover" that event.
- I've been disappointed with the lack of zubaz out at the stadium. I've only caught one pair (which you can see a picture of here).
- The most cheers in the autograph line go to Matt Cassel, Dwayne Bowe, Eric Berry and Dexter McCluster.