The Kansas City Chiefs and Missouri Western State University made it official on Wednesday that the Chiefs Training Camp will not be held in St. Joseph this summer.
"After much discussion over the past several months, the Kansas City Chiefs officially notified us this week that they will be unable to hold their 2020 Training Camp at Missouri Western due to the NFL's evolving policies in response to the COVID-19 outbreak," said MWSU vice president of intercollegiate athletics Josh Looney.
"Both MWSU and the Chiefs were very excited about the potential of our 11th training camp in St. Joseph this summer, but with health and safety a top priority surrounding the many facets of hosting an NFL Training Camp we understand and appreciate the need for caution," Looney added. "We look forward to rooting on our defending Super Bowl champs throughout this coming season and welcoming them back to our campus in July 2021 and beyond."
Earlier this month, all 32 NFL teams were told by Commissioner Roger Goodell to hold training camps at their home facilities this summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chiefs were in discussion with the NFL about the possibility of still holding camp at Missouri Western.
The Chiefs also released a statement about training camp on Wednesday, "When the NFL announced a new policy requiring all training camps to be held at team facilities, we looked at every avenue to return to Missouri Western State University, including making a detailed appeal to the League. We were looking forward to returning to St. Joseph as we prepare to defend our Super Bowl title, but unfortunately, as conditions have evolved nationally, we have decided that our best option is to conduct training camp at The University of Kansas Health System Training Complex this season. We appreciate the overwhelming support of Chiefs Kingdom and the St. Joseph community and look forward to returning to Missouri Western State University in preparation for the 2021 season."
The Chiefs were one of ten teams last year to hold their training camp away from their own facility and have been at MWSU for ten straight years. In February, Kansas City announced a three-year deal with Missouri Western to continue training in St. Joe and enhance facilities on campus.
It was a record-breaking training camp in 2019 as more fans attended the camp than any training camp in history. More than 62,000 fans turned out during the three-week training camp, shattering the old record of 55,000 set in 2010.
The 2019 total is nearly double the number of fans (33,000) who showed up to watch training camp in 2018 and and 2020 was expected to surpass last year after the Chiefs Super Bowl victory in February.