HomeSportsVoters reject sales tax...

Voters reject sales tax for Chiefs, Royals stadium projects


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In a resounding manner Tuesday, the voters in Jackson County, Mo., rejected to approve an extension of the three-eighths-cent sales tax on a ballot initiative to ensure the Kansas City Royals and Kansas City Chiefs remain in the county for at least the next 25 years.

Before 9 p.m. CT, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas used his X account to announce that the vote didn’t pass.

Less than an hour later, the Royals and Chiefs acknowledged their defeat was by an overwhelming margin. At 10 p.m. CT, 100 percent of the votes were counted — 78,352 voting no (58 percent) and 56,606 voting yes (42 percent).

“We respect the democratic process, we respect the voters of Jackson County and the results of the election,” John Sherman, the Royals’ new owner, said Tuesday night. “We’re deeply disappointed, as we are steadfast in our belief that Jackson County is far better off with the Chiefs and the Royals. This is a belief I both hold professionally and personally, as someone whose roots run deep in this town.

“We will take some time to reflect on and process the outcome and find a path forward that works for the Royals and our fans.”

The Pulse Newsletter

Free, daily sports updates direct to your inbox. Sign up

Free, daily sports updates direct to your inbox. Sign up

BuyBuy The Pulse Newsletter

Scoop City Newsletter

Scoop City Newsletter

Free, daily NFL updates direct to your inbox. Sign up

Free, daily NFL updates direct to your inbox. Sign up

BuyBuy Scoop City Newsletter

For more than two years, Sherman has wanted to build a downtown stadium in Kansas City, one that would ideally be opened by the 2028 season. Leading up to Tuesday’s vote, the Chiefs expressed their commitment to staying in the Truman Sports Complex, which is where the venues for the two teams have been since 1973. The teams are in the middle of sharing a lease that runs through Jan. 31, 2031.

But based on Tuesday’s results, the long-term future of both teams, and where the Royals and Chiefs will host their home games, are unclear.

“The people of Kansas City and Jackson County love the Chiefs and the Royals,” Lucas wrote on his X account. “Today, they rejected plans and processes they found inadequate. Over the months ahead, I look forward to working with the Chiefs and Royals to build a stronger, more open, and collaborative process that will ensure the teams, their events and investments remain in Kansas City for generations to come.”

If the voters had approved the extension of the sales tax, that money would’ve generated about $2 billion, a sizable portion that would’ve helped fund a state-of-the-art baseball stadium and several renovations to Arrowhead Stadium, a 52-year-old structure that will be one of the host sites for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. When the terms of the ballot question were finalized in January, the construction plans the tax would finance weren’t finalized.

This past fall, the Royals announced two potential locations for their ballpark district: One east of downtown and the other in Clay County, Mo., across the Missouri River. The Royals, though, failed to meet their own deadline to finalize their top location. On Feb. 13, The Royals announced a different location for their new stadium — and a possible entertainment district — in the Crossroads district. The Chiefs shared their plans for Arrowhead’s renovations — changes that would enhance suites, video boards and club lounges — on Feb. 28.

Days ahead of the vote, Sherman said the Royals would pledge at least $1 billion from their ownership group for their project. Arrowhead’s projected renovations were expected to cost $800 million. Chiefs team owner Clark Hunt said he and his family would contribute $300 million.

“Our focus and our belief is that the voters are going to approve the extension of the sales tax,” Hunt told The Athletic last week during the NFL owners’ meetings. “We’re not focused on what happens if it doesn’t pass. But certainly, we’ll have to consider all of our alternatives.”

Last month, the Chiefs and Royals reached community benefits agreements with the Jackson County Sports Complex Authority, which included more than $260 million in support and more than $200 million in economic relief for the county by eliminating the obligation to pay stadium insurance premiums and park levy to the teams.

Several leaders in the city and county, however, felt the financial commitments from the Royals and Chiefs weren’t enough. Jackson County executive Frank White, who is in the Royals Hall of Fame, never fully agreed to the proposal. KC Tenants, a tenants’ rights and housing advocacy group that has 10,000 members, also campaigned against the proposal, urging voters to reject the extension by stressing that taxpayers would pay too large of a percentage to help build a new ballpark and further modernize Arrowhead.

“Two billion dollars in taxpayers money, man, could do a hell of a lot to develop our community,” Michael Savwoir, one of the union leaders with KC Tenants, told Kansas City television station Fox4 on Tuesday night. “The billionaires don’t finance my follies. Why should I finance theirs? I think we can all agree it was a pretty shabby job of selling anything, pretty shabby in terms of how it was delivered — the message, the deceit, the strong-arming and the extortion.”

Sherman has said multiple times that the Royals’ last possible season playing inside Kauffman Stadium, which opened in 1973, will be the 2030 season. Prior to Tuesday’s election, Sherman and Clark each said they didn’t have a plan B if the extension of the sales tax wasn’t passed. If the Royals are unable to move to a new downtown stadium before 2030, one possible outcome is that the franchise could leave Kansas City altogether for another market willing to build a new ballpark.

In 2032, the Chiefs could be playing in front of their fans in Kansas, as developers from across the state line have sent the team proposals in the past few years. In those discussions, developers have recommended multiple sites that are attractive for a state-of-the-art NFL stadium and training facility. A logical destination could be in Kansas City, Kan., near the Kansas Speedway and Children’s Mercy Park, the home venue of Sporting Kansas City.

“We’re disappointed,” Chiefs team president Mark Donovan said Tuesday night. “We feel we put forth the best offer for Jackson County. We were ready to extend the longstanding partnership the teams have enjoyed with this county.

“We will do, and look to do, what is in the best interest of our fans and our organization as we move forward.”

Tim Smith, the campaign manager for the Committee Against New Royals stadium Taxes, celebrated the result of the election by praising voters who demand more from the Royals and Chiefs.

“The people all across Jackson County, no matter what their political persuasion was, took a chance to fight Goliath,” Smith told Fox4. “I’m happy to report we slayed Goliath tonight. This is the message to the billionaires that regular people still matter.”

Required reading

(Photo: Jamie Squire / Getty Images)





Source link

Most Popular

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More from Author

Read Now

Fever select Caitlin Clark with No. 1 pick in WNBA Draft

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Eight days after completing one of the greatest collegiate basketball careers ever recorded, Caitlin Clark was selected with the No. 1 pick in Monday’s WNBA Draft by the Indiana Fever.Clark is poised to not only help the Fever return to the postseason for...

In 1998, Bollywood star killed two blackbucks. A gang still seeks revenge.

Khan has been in the crosshairs of an armed gang since 1998 for shooting two blackbucks on a recreational hunting trip.Two members of a notorious criminal gang have been arrested for firing at the home of Bollywood actor Salman Khan in apparent retaliation for the superstar’s...

14 More Games Land on PS Plus Extra, Premium Today

As always, we ran a Poll over the weekend to gather your thoughts on the line-up, and (almost) as always, one-third of you responded by saying "it's a crap selection". 26 per cent of voters were at least somewhat happy with the selection, with Dave the...

Where Biden’s billions in chipmaking money have gone — and what could be next

The White House announcement this week of up to $6.4 billion in chipmaking cash for Samsung (005930.KS) marks a move to the next phase of the Biden administration's effort to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to the US.The focus so far has largely been on leading-edge logic...

WNBA expansion headed for 16 teams. Portland, Toronto and Philly are options

NEW YORK — The WNBA is looking to continue growing in the next few years. The league intends to reach 16 teams by 2028, commissioner Cathy Engelbert said before the draft, confirming The Athletic report from earlier Monday.The league announced earlier this year that the Bay...

Microsoft Makes High-Stakes Play in Tech Cold War With Emirati A.I. Deal

Microsoft on Tuesday said it would make a $1.5 billion investment in G42, an artificial intelligence giant in the United Arab Emirates, in a deal largely orchestrated by the Biden administration to box out China as Washington and Beijing battle over who will exercise technological influence...

A hockey puck hurtled toward her son’s head. A fan jumped to block it.

Just over a minute was left on the clock during a hockey game in Cleveland Thursday when a player struck the puck, sending it barreling into the stands and toward Asia Davis’s 4-year-old son. That’s when another fan jumped and extended his right arm to block...

Thailand’s Finance Ministry to lead 17 agencies in considering House report on legalizing casinos

Thailand’s Ministry of Finance has been appointed lead agency to consider a House committee study recommending the legalization of casino gaming but will work with 16 other agencies in doing so, local media reports. According to English-language outlet The Nation, the appointment was ordered by way of...

WWE RAW Results Coverage, Reactions and Highlights for April 15, 2024

It’s Monday night, and you know what that means! WWE RAW will go down tonight, and Ringside News has got you covered with live play-by-play results coverage for the April 15, 2024 episode. The start time for WWE RAW is 8:00 PM EST. Match-by-match highlights...

Coachella Weekend 1 Recap, J Balvin’s Out Of This World Coachella Set, Metro Boomin & Future Top Hot 100 | Billboard News

It’s Monday April 15th, Billboard counts down the top 10 on the Hot 100, we’re running down all the headliners and special guest performers and some notable audience members that went down at the first weekend of Coachella, J Balvin gives us a behind the scene...