Important takeaways from Kansas City Chiefs training camp

Here's a comprehensive look from a weekend hanging out in St. Joseph—including tips when visiting camp yourself.
Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp
Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp / Jamie Squire/GettyImages
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Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp: Tips for Fans

Here's a few tips for your trip to camp.

1. Get there well before the scheduled time the gates open.

Typically practice is scheduled to start at 9:15 am and the gates are scheduled to open 30 minutes before at 8:45 am. However, we arrived between 7:30-8:00 am both days and there was a line probably the equivalent of two city blocks already formed when we arrived. The good news is that they opened gates well before 8:45 on both days to start getting the crowds through.

2. Prioritize what is more important, autographs or best view of practice.

On both of the days we were there, camp was at or near capacity, which makes it really hard to get in a good position for both autographs and watching practice. If you want to get prime up-front spots to watch the players come down the hill, you'll have to get there early, and once they all come down the best spots in the bleachers will likely be full.

If you've got young kids that want autographs and you want to watch scrimmages from the best seats you may want to plan to go two days and prioritize each on a different day. The best spot to get autographs is probably in front of the tents at the bottom of the hill behind the endzone on the far field, but those spots fill up fast.

3. Pay attention to where the tower cameras are if you want to see the scrimmages.

If you are prioritizing watching the offense vs defense scrimmages, look at which practice field the tower cameras are set up at. That is where all the scrimmaging will take place that day. In the less-populated days at camp, you could easily go from one field to the other to watch what was most exciting, but that's a lot harder to do with huge crowds. If you look at the picture below you can see one of the tower cameras I'm talking about behind the goalpost.

4. Bring an unopened water bottle.

It's hot in St. Joe and you can bring in your own unopened plastic water bottle as opposed to potentially losing a prime viewing spot to go buy an overpriced one.

5. Bypass the merchandise tent and go check out the new St. Joe Rally House after practice.

St. Joe now has a new Rally House with one of the biggest selections of Chiefs gear I've ever seen. It dwarfs what they have in the merchandise tent at camp and I feel like the prices are a little better too. I couldn't even get all their Chiefs gear in the picture below.

6. Go eat Kansas City BBQ after practice.

This shouldn't take any convincing. Practice usually ends around 11:00-11:30, so if you don't stick around too long for autographs, it times out about perfectly to drive into KC for a BBQ lunch. Friday we tried out Meat Mitch for the first time. As you can see in the picture below it was fantastic, but KC has a ton of great options for you to try.

So there you have it Chiefs fans. Those are my observations from camp and tips if you go to camp yourself. I highly recommend it. It's a great time and I was encouraged overall but what I saw from the Chiefs when I was there. Now I can't wait for the first preseason game to get here.