If there were any hopes that the Chiefs would follow the Rams back to Missouri for training camp next year, they were dashed yesterday. The Chiefs announced that they will exercise its option to return to River Falls, Wisconsin in 2006. They also announced the addition of two more one-year options, which could keep them there through 2008.
“It’s absolutely wonderful that a state and a university would honor us as they have each year—and we’re here from 23-to-25 days—to come up with $2.4 million to build some facilities that I think are second-to-none,” Chiefs General Manager Carl Peterson said at a press conference to announce the decision on Monday.
The state of Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls invested $2.4 million into improving the training camp facilities. The money went to improve Knowles Arena, which serves as the school’s main field house. 100 pro-style lockers were installed and they improved the shower and dressing areas and a new training room.
“If we compared facilities here, to what we have back in Kansas City, it would almost make sense to move the team here,” said Chiefs’ injured linebacker Shawn Barber.
Southwest Missouri St., Northwest Missouri St., Central Missouri St. and Pittsburgh St. all tried to lure the Chiefs away last year, but couldn’t. They’ve trained in River Falls since 1991.
Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle said jokingly that the Chiefs almost blew their chances at getting the funding for the stadium when they beat the Packers at Lambeau Field 40-34 on October 12, 2003
“As I left that stadium I didn’t think the Chiefs should ever get anything more out of the state of Wisconsin,” Doyle said to thunderous laughter. “I’m very pleased that we all kind of collected ourselves, again and went forward on this very important project.”