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Kansas City councilman says Royals will soon listen to offers from other cities in the metro

The stadium talks do not appear to be going well.

The Royals’ pursuit of a new stadium appears to be facing major obstacles in negotiations with Jackson County leaders, and the team may be looking elsewhere in the metro area, according to a city official. Kevin O’Neill, a City Councilman from the 1st District At-Large, tweeted today that he is hearing the Royals will soon entertain offers elsewhere in the metro, including North Kansas City in Clay County, and potentially a site in Wyandotte County in Kansas.

Bob Fescoe at 610 Sports also tweeted that it is looking more and more likely that both the Royals and Chiefs could leave Jackson County, frustrated over negotiations.

Fescoe, who has been an enthusiastic support of a downtown stadium for the Royals, elaborated this afternoon in an interview with Carrington Harrison on The Drive.

“We’re almost I would say in the 11th hour right now of trying to keep both of these teams together in Jackson County and still sort of sharing that 3/8 cent sales tax moving forward.”

According to Fescoe, the teams are only asking for an extension of the 3/8 cent sales tax that is scheduled to expire in 2031 to fund costs for a $1 billion stadium, but have found resistance from the county. The Royals have pledged to pay the complete $1 billion costs of any new ballpark district, and have promised taxpayers will not pay any more than they are already paying.

Earlier this fall, someone from the county leaked a financial spreadsheet that showed stadium costs as high at $6 billion although it was later found to have a $1 billion error, and some county lawmakers questioned the legitimacy of those costs, accusing them of being leaked to scare voters.

Fescoe also reports the county recently cancelled a meeting with both teams just an hour before it was to take place.

“It’s a really divided front right now...when it comes to the folks in Jackson County and it really all starts with the Executive Director Frank White over there who can’t seemingly give an answer to anybody about what he believes would be a fair deal between these teams and Jackson County and frustration is mounting inside both of the organizations.”

The Royals had expected to have a stadium site selected by the end of September, but have postponed that decision indefinitely. They were said to be considering a site in the East Village inside the loop, and one in North Kansas City, just across the river. A third site, just south of the T-Mobile Center where the former Kansas City Star printing press is located, was recently reported to be a candidate as well.

Update: Mayor Quinton Lucas responds.