St. Joseph, MO--Major signs of progress can be seen on the campus of Missouri Western as the university prepares for arrival of the Kansas City Chiefs, despite the NFL Lockout.
"We had a good meeting with the Chiefs on Wednesday. They were very positive about wanting to have their camp here," Dan Nicoson, MWSU Interim A.D., said. "They're hopeful that the lockout will be settled soon enough and they can make decisions quickly enough. As of now, they're fully intending to be here and be here on time."
Bleachers on the south, east and west ends are ready to seat the thousands that could file through St. Joseph in late July and early August.
"We had hoped that we might show growth this year, but even if we equaled last year, we'd be feeling prettty good about things."
The fencing that includes the Chiefs logo is fully erect, goalpost are being re-coated with yellow paint, the grass on the playing surface is being treated with growth chemicals, and preventative maintenance is underway in the dorm the team will be staying in.
"We've been meeting daily. We've been dividing the work up between four people. We've got a good team, there's things we scramble on each day, but for the most part it looks like it's going very well."
The original date of the Chiefs arrival in St. Joseph isn't until the last week of July, but a looming NFL Lockout has the league and the player's timetable in flux. Missouri Western's timetable is the same. It has to be. If an NFL labor agreement is reached, the university needs to be prepared to handle an NFL team and the anticpated 60,000 visitors over a 3-week span.
"There's an owner's meeting on July 21st. Any agreement that's reached prior to then would have to be ratified at that meeting. Assuming that happens, the Chiefs plans are to be here within a week following that ratification."