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Clark Hunt: Chiefs want to have training camp in St. Joseph — with fans

Speaking to reporters on Saturday, the Chiefs’ owner said there are hurdles to clear, but the team wants training camp to get back to normal.

Kansas City Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt met with reporters in a Zoom conference call after the NFL Draft ended on Saturday — which the team’s owner believed had gone very well.

“I think Brett Veach and his team have done a great job of re-shaping our offensive line,” said Hunt. “Obviously, we signed some guys in free agency — and then the big Orlando Brown trade and then drafting Creed Humphrey yesterday. I think we’ve taken a lot of steps in shoring up that weakness. We got a good linebacker in Nick Bolton and we just took a defensive end (Joshua Kaindoh) who should help our pass rush. So, Brett’s done an all-around good job.”

But Hunt was happy to acknowledge his favorite part of the draft process: being involved in calling players with the good news.

“I know for the players, they’ve literally been waiting for that moment their whole life — and dreaming about it since they played Pee Wee football,” he noted. “And I don’t take for granted the chance to share with those players that they’re about to be a Kansas City Chief.”

But Hunt said that in most cases, his part of the call doesn’t end up lasting very long.

“Usually, the conversations are really strange — because I’ll get in about one sentence. And then the room they’re in with all their family and friends erupts; they can’t hear me and I can’t hear them. But anyhow... you can feel the joy and the excitement — and that’s one of my favorite parts of the draft every year.”

Turning to business, Hunt said that the team wants very much to return to its normal training-camp routine in St. Joseph, Missouri.

“Our hope — and our mindset — is that we will be in St. Joe for camp this year,” he declared. But just as in last season, the decision won’t be entirely up to the Chiefs.

“That is something that the NFL has still not made a decision on,” Hunt explained. “I know they’ll have to have some discussions with the union on the protocols that will be surrounding camp, so we probably won’t know here for a month-plus. But we certainly want to be back up in St. Joe — it’s been a great environment for the team. I know Andy Reid and his staff really like being up there and think it’s helped us be successful on the field.”

Hunt also said that the team very much wants to have fans in attendance for training camp sessions. And the team’s desire to have fans in attendance extends to the season, too.

“The Commissioner has already been on the record in saying that the plan is for us to be at 100 percent from a league standpoint,” said Hunt. “Now, there are a lot of hurdles that have to be jumped over between now and then. It will be different in different states [and] different markets. We’ll be working with the health department here in Kansas City to figure out what’s safe when we get to the season. The league also will have some discussions with the union in terms of the protocols relating separating fans from the players. So, there’s a lot of work to be done — but our mindset and mentality right now is we’re going to be at 100 percent.”