Chiefs

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon visits Chiefs camp, says NFL works in St. Louis

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, shown here during a news conference in Kansas City recently, spoke on a number of topics during a visit to Chiefs training camp in St. Joseph on Wednesday.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, shown here during a news conference in Kansas City recently, spoke on a number of topics during a visit to Chiefs training camp in St. Joseph on Wednesday. skeyser@kcstar.com

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon took in Chiefs practice today, posed for photos with the Mizzou players on the roster, and spoke to reporters on a variety of topics.

On the prospect of the Rams leaving St. Louis, and the city building a new stadium along the riverfront to either keep the Rams or land another NFL team:

“We’re working with the league and everybody else to make sure we have a cost-effective and competitive offer. We’re not going to raise taxes. It’s an area that needs to be redeveloped. I’ve stayed in constant contact with (NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell). I spoke with him last week. St. Louis is an NFL city.

“It’s the right economic development deal, too. That area on the riverfront you’ve got 53 buildings, only three are occupied. We get to fix and area. We feel good about it.

“You keep your facilities and your fan base so it is NFL ready. So that is been our mantra. Certainly we’d like the Rams to stay there. But if they don’t, for whatever reason, the bottom line is the NFL has liked St. Louis as a market. The fans are really, really good fans. ... What we’re trying to is make sure we’re competing with all the other NFL cities to make sure we have facilities and fan amenities cost effectively — no tax increase, we’ll continues those bonds from the other building — will allow us to redevelop the riverfront so when you cross over the Stan Musial Bridge and look left and see that new building.”

The 25th anniversary of the Missouri’s Fifth Down Game loss to Colorado is approaching. Where were you when it happened?

“That was a bad day for Mizzou fans. Colorado was given an extra down. We were blocked from what would be a great victory.

“I was sitting on the floor of our bathroom outside of Hillsboro, Mo., holding my son, and I was counting the downs. When that fifth one was coming, I started screaming, I woke the one kid up, and the other one who was taking an afternoon nap with his mother, they started screaming. In a sense my youngest sons’ first Mizzou moment was crying out about a horrific call. I just started ranting and raving, kind of like (Colorado coach Bill) McCartney did the next day. I can count to four.”

On Ferguson unrest:

“We stay very close to all this, obviously.

“Last night was pretty calm. We’re just asking folks to stay safe. Folks have things they want to say, and there are clearly ways they can speak, and we’re trying to make sure everybody’s safe doing that, keeping the community safe while letting folks let their voices be heard.

“I also think as we came upon one year (anniversary), people had time to pause and look at all that’s happened. We’re redoing our police officer standards and training. We’ve put a lot of resources into education there. We’ve had private sector help. The community has done a lot. These are long journeys. They’re difficult issues when you deal with race and police. But I do feel like people in the Show Me State, especially in that St. Louis region, have embraced that challenge to make a better tomorrow.”

On the prospect of a Royals-Cardinals World Series:

“If it does happen, this state, it’s going to be fun 10 days. I get asked which team I’m for and I say both, and it gets me in trouble. But I am for both. I wear Royals at Kauffman Stadium and Cardinals at Busch Stadium.”

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @BlairKerkhoff.

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