Columbia, Mo. (KMOV)- The Missouri Tigers had their final home game on November 8, a 41-24 blowout over Big XII North foe Kansas State. It was the last opportunity for fans to see what is possibly the best senior class in school history play at Faurot Field. But the game against Kansas State didn't have to be the last at home. Saturday's game against Kansas is the first Mizzou home game lost to Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. According to Chad Moller, assistant athletic director at MU, the schools had been "courted" by the Kansas City Chiefs for a while. The idea to have the games at Arrowhead started with the Chiefs founder, Lamar Hunt, almost 20 years ago. "The late Lamar Hunt wanted the game there for a long time, and he entrusted GM Carl Peterson to make it happen. The schools balked at the idea for a long time, but eventually were successfully recruited, so to speak, by Mr. Peterson, and the result was the two-year agreement for the 2007 and 2008 games" said Moller. A new agreement was signed last week to extend the game at Arrowhead through 2012. Kristan Miller, a junior at Mizzou, feels the fans that go to the rivalry game at Arrowhead are different from those that stay at home. "Many students weren't able to really get tickets this year. It was a hassle and nearly impossible," Miller said. There were 1,000 tickets made available for purchase last Thursday and there were students waiting as early as 8 a.m. The doors did not open at Mizzou Arena until 3:30 p.m. The lines were long and some students even brought blankets, picnics, homework and games to pass the time. Ashley Edwards, a Mizzou freshman, agrees that fans are different, but does not think it is necessarily a bad thing. "It would be easier for students to get tickets (if the game stayed at home) because with the game being at Arrowhead, alumni are better able to get tickets. I think it's easier for students from Kansas City to get tickets as well." Students and athletes question the motives of moving the game, varying from money to safety. Edwards thinks it wiser to have the game at Arrowhead because "It's such a bitter rivalry." However, Jared Perry, a junior wide receiver for Missouri, does not agree with that premise for moving the game. "The rivalry stuff can happen anywhere. If fans wanted to be destructive, they could do it at Arrowhead, too." Moller said the decision was made for a number of reasons. "The financial aspect is certainly the primary benefit to us, we will make much more money, with guarantees and other corporate sponsorships and other factors. Yet there is one thing students did not consider. "The other major factor is that we are charged with bringing the Mizzou brand to all areas of the state, and this is a great way to do just that, much like we do for the Illinois game that is played in St. Louis" says Moller. There was worry surrounding the turn out last year when the move impacted the Kansas home games but Perry does not think that will be a problem for Mizzou. "When we played there last year, there was more black and gold than there was blue and red. Support is always good, if a team is winning people will come." Moller predicts more black and gold this year. Despite there not being a guarantee for student tickets, each school is allotted 3,000 seats for students per contract with the Chiefs and Mizzou took another 1,000 out of their allotment to make it 4,000 student tickets. "Our student season ticket base was around 9,000 this year, so we feel good that close to half of them can be at the game at least, and certainly those who didn't get in on the student sale, have opportunities to get tickets through other means." Despite enjoying the heated seats in the NFL stadium last year, Perry has strong feelings about having Mizzou students at the game. "Without our fans, there is no us. When the students that get season tickets and support us through every game can't come to our biggest game, it hurts."
Rochelle Evans is a Journalism student at the University of Missouri