Last chance to see the Chiefs in River Falls!

By: Mary Rinzel with Photographer Jeff Ralph
By: Mary Rinzel with Photographer Jeff Ralph

The eyes of Packer land are once again focused on Green Bay as the NFL season gets closer to opening day. But, clear across the state from Lambeau Field, it's the Kansas City Chiefs who are the center of one Western Wisconsin town—likely for the final time.

For 19 years, the Chiefs have made River Falls their summer home. But, in a few days the team will pack their bags for the last time and head back to Missouri.

For kids from a small town, the chance to watch the guys that made it big can make their summer. And local businesses bank on making bank; setting up signs to lure in the out of towners.

"We are going to miss them and their excitement and generosity,” says Paige Olson. "Go Chiefs!”

Olson runs Kinni Creek Lodge & Outfitters in River Falls. She says while it was nice having an influx of people and their money in town for training camp, the Chief’s move won't have a huge financial impact. But, she says she will miss the players. Priest Holmes signed her guest book back in 2001.

"Sunday morning, I would just cook and cook because they can eat during training camp!" Olson says laughing.

As for the fans who make the 468 mile journey to follow their team, they say it’ll be nice to have the Chiefs closer to home. But, they know it will be a whole different ballgame back in Missouri.

"It's definitely a lot cooler", says one Missouri fan.

"I do like this little town and they've received the Chiefs well," says another fan up from Nebraska.

"I think it's going to be bigger. There will be a lot of people from Kansas City coming up. So, I kind of like it here," says another Nebraska fan.

Even for the players, as they run off the training field for the final time, it will be a bit bittersweet.

"It's been a good experience for me—last year, as a rookie and now this year,” says Chiefs Starting Tackle Branden Albert. “It's something that will probably be engraved in my mind for a while."

The reason for the Chief's big move back to the Show Me State—a $25 million tax credit that allowed them to build practice facilities closer to home. It's a long shot, but if that construction isn't finished in time, the team says the players could be back in River Falls for one more season.

You still have a little time if you want to check out the Chiefs in Wisconsin: They'll be on the field Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Here’s the team’s practice schedule at UW-River Falls:

Saturday, Aug. 15
Preseason Game vs. Houston, 7 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 16
No Practice
Monday, Aug. 17 - Seniors' Day
Practice 19 - 9-11 a.m.
Practice 20 - 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 18
Practice 21 - 2-4 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 19
Practice 22 - 9-11 a.m.
Practice 23 - 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 20
Practice 24 - 2-4 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 21
No Practice
Break Camp
Preseason Game at Minnesota, 7 p.m.


The comment sections of our web set are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from the viewers but we are not obligated to post comments we feel inappropriate or violate our guidelines. Here are some of the criteria you should follow when posting comments:

Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. Children and families visit this site. We will delete comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.

We will delete all comments using hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our web site.

Comments should not attack other readers personally.

We will delete comments we deem offensive, in bad taste, or out of bounds. We are not obligated to post comments that are rude or insensitive.

We do not edit user-submitted comments.

As a host WEAU 13 News welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However, we have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason WEAU 13 News reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.
powered by Disqus
WEAU 13 NEWS 1907 S. Hastings Way Eau Claire, WI 54701 By Phone: Main Number (715) 835-1313 and (715) 832-3474. Tip Line (715) 839-WEAU - (715) 839-9328 Sports Line (715) 852-1537
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 53258792 - weau.com/a?a=53258792
Gray Television, Inc.