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Chiefs-inspired 'Red Rally' boosts St. Joseph economy

Posted at 7:46 PM, Jul 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-26 20:47:57-04

ST. JOSEPH, Mo.  — As the full Kansas City Chiefs team gathered Friday for the first time at training camp, fans flocked to a "Red Rally" in downtown St. Joseph.

It's the first year for the rally in the 10 years the camp has been held at Missouri Western State University.

Fans filled downtown, including many who came early to grab a good spot in front of the music stage.

"I don’t want to miss anything ," Olga Bisit said. "I want the hoopla, just enjoy the atmosphere."

Having the rally in downtown St. Joe was a poopular decision for Chiefs fans and residents.

"It kind of shows different things here that we can offer, restaurants and unique shops and stuff downtown," St. Joseph resident Susie Dudley said.

The town, of course, is decorated with Chiefs flags and a red filter on the street lights.

Downtown businesses hope the influx of fans will explore and shop around downtown.

"We’re hoping that people who come down for the Red Rally are also going to take some time to go out and discover all the unique things about our downtown," said Chris Coffman, who owns the Nesting Goods store downtown

With training camp across town at the university, downtown doesn't typcially see all the action, but the rally is an effort to change that.

"We are almost on the opposite side of town from our local college, and a lot of people who may have gone to camps in the east stay near the college," Coffman said. "But kicking this off near our downtown, we’re hoping they’ll venture a little bit further for breaks during the training camp or dinner before they go home."

Over the past decade, Chiefs training camp has had a huge impact on the local economy.

"It’s definitely a shot in the arm for tourism," Director of Communications for the St. Joesph Chamber of Commerce Kristi Bailey said. "With people, they come up, there may be a practice, but they may stay and go to lunch or go shopping, so it’s definitely an added bonus."

Fans will be able to see the team practice for the first time Saturday ahead of the 2019 season.