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Plans in works for Chiefs to leave RF training camp

RIVER FALLS -- Published reports from the Associated Press and Eau Claire Leader-Telegram over the weekend indicate that Kansas City Chiefs are planning to move their NFL training camp from UW-River Falls to St. Joseph's, Missouri in 2010.

Documents released to the news media from the Missouri Development Finance Board show that the Chiefs have made a written agreement to move their training camp to Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph's if a $25 million state tax credit is approved to construct a new training facility on campus.

The deal being worked out by the state and the Chiefs organization would have the team donate $10 million to the building of an indoor practice facility which would make it easier for the Chiefs to train in Missouri given the hot and humid weather there in late July/early August. The cooler climate is what drove Kansas City and other NFL teams to train in Wisconsin, forming the so-called "Cheese League," a reverse situation than one finds in Major League Baseball where teams train in warm Florida and Arizona in February and March.

However, the economic success of the "Cheese League" (The Chiefs' camp brings in an estimated 10,000 visitors and $2 million into the region's economy), made such team's home states jealous and eager to force teams to relocate their camps back home in return for state monies for new stadiums and or stadium renovations. Teams like the Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints and Jacksonville Jaguars all once had training camps in Wisconsin before returning back home.

The state of Wisconsin has spent millions upgrading the facilities at UWRF to accommodate the Chiefs. However, the ballclub never signed a long-tem deal with the university.

The Chiefs will have their 2009 camp in River Falls. The new facility in St. Joseph's is not scheduled to open until the summer of 2010. The Chiefs have been training in River Falls for the past 19 years.