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Kansas City Chiefs expected to make return decision soon

November 20, 2008

The Kansas City Chiefs are expected to make a decision within the next week or two as to whether they will return to UW-River Falls next summer for training camp, according to Mary Halada, the head liaison between the Chiefs and campus.

According to the Chiefs contract with the University, their deadline for making a decision to return next summer was Oct. 1.

“The Chiefs didn’t feel they could make that deadline,” Larry Testa, committee chair for student affairs, said. “They didn’t officially file an extension request to postpone the decision, but they did call up Mary and ask.”

That call came in the last week of September, said Halada, who recently retired from her position as vice chancellor of administration and finance, but agreed to retain her services in dealing with the Chiefs. She agreed to the extension, pushing their deadline back to the end of this semester.

“I didn’t have a good reason not to say yes to the request,” Halada said. “There was nothing hinging on that date and we wanted to be respectful of the fact that the Chiefs are an NFL team in the height of their season. Training camp is probably the last thing on their minds right now. But I would expect that within the next week or so to know something concrete.”

There has been speculation surrounding a possible return for the Chiefs to River Falls. Their contract to hold training camp expired last summer and no moves have yet been made to renew it.

Adding fuel to that fire is the fact that a new training facility is nearly completed in Kansas City, as part of the renovations to Arrowhead Stadium. This information taken together has led to a circulating rumor that the Chiefs will not return.

“I doubt they would come back again,” Dan Scott, South Fork Suites hall manager, said. “Why would they with a new training facility back home?”

But Halada doesn’t feel the request for an extension is a sign of writing on the wall. According to her, the Chiefs have asked for similar extension at least two or three times in the past decade.

When asked whether she believes the Chiefs will return, Halada simply said, “I feel hopeful.”