State Board Approves Training Camp Agreement
Contact: Kent Heier
Title: Assistant PR/Marketing Director
STATE BOARD APPROVES TRAINING CAMP AGREEMENT
St. Joseph, Mo. — June 18, 2009—The state of Missouri has given its final approval to an agreement that will bring the summer training camp of the Kansas City Chiefs to Missouri Western State University, Gov. Jay Nixon announced today.
“Bringing the Chiefs training camp to Missouri Western’s campus will be great for the university, for the St. Joseph community and for the state of Missouri,” Gov. Jay Nixon said. “Missouri Western’s students and the community will benefit from a top-notch new athletic facility, and the regional and state economy will get a significant boost from increased employment and tourism. I appreciate the hard work and dedication of the members of my administration, the Chiefs organization, Missouri Western and the St. Joseph community that helped us finalize this important agreement. Together, we’ve reached a consensus that brings this major investment to the state of Missouri, while ensuring the most responsible use of our taxpayer resources.”
Under terms of the agreement, the Chiefs will bring their training camp to Western for three weeks every summer beginning in 2010, provided certain facility improvements are in place by then. The primary improvement is an indoor practice facility, which will include a full-size football field, a 5,000 square-foot locker room, weight room, training room, coaches’ offices, meeting rooms and a lecture hall where the entire team can gather.
“This is a transformational moment for our university and our community,” said Dr. Robert Vartabedian, Western’s president. “Many people have worked many years to make this happen, and we’re certainly grateful. There are too many names to thank everyone individually, but I would be remiss if I didn’t express our special appreciation to the governor; Senator Charlie Shields; Dirck Clark, the chair of our Board of Governors; Dave Williams, our athletic director; and Clark Hunt and Denny Thum of the Chiefs. They’ve worked tirelessly over the last several months to reach an agreement that benefits all of us.”
“We are very excited about bringing training camp back to the state of Missouri,” Chiefs Chairman Hunt said. “Given the increased year-round interest in the Chiefs, it was important to our family to conduct camp closer to our fans in Mid-America. We appreciate the support of the state of Missouri and Missouri Western State University, and we look forward to expanding our role in the St. Joseph community next summer.”
The Missouri Development Finance Board (MDFB) initially approved last December a request from the Jackson County Sports Authority for $25 million in tax credits in exchange for making $50 million worth of improvements to Arrowhead Stadium, the Chiefs Kansas City home. The Chiefs agreed to donate $10 million to Western toward the necessary facility improvements. After Gov. Nixon took office in January, his administration requested clarification of the tax credit agreement, and today, the MDFB approved the revised agreement.
The agreement calls for the Chiefs to hold their training camp at Western for a minimum of five years, and in the state of Missouri for a minimum of 10 years.
The city of St. Joseph and Buchanan County are also contributing funds to the project, and Western is raising private donations.
Western opened bids on the practice facility June 16, and the 14 bids are currently under review. The Board of Governors will select a contractor soon. Construction is expected to begin around July 1.
A formal groundbreaking ceremony is being planned. Details will be announced when they are finalized.
Missouri Western State University is a comprehensive regional university providing a blend of traditional liberal arts and professional degree programs. The university offers student-centered, high quality instruction that focuses on experience-based learning, community service, and state-of-the-art technology. Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit www.missouriwestern.edu.