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Royals announce commitment to Jackson County if sales tax extension passes

No deal is finalized yet, but the teams made some concessions.

The Royals and Chiefs issued a joint statement today announcing their commitment to stay in Jackson County if voters approve an extension of the 3/8 cent sales tax in April as well as the concessions they are willing to make to reach agreement with the county. In the statement, the Royals announced their intention to move downtown in new ballpark with a $1 billion privately funded district at an unnamed site, while the Chiefs will renovate Arrowhead Stadium. There is still no finalized deal with the county, although this may signal progress is being made.

The teams have agreed to cover the insurance costs for the facilities that the county currently pays. A leaked spreadsheet from the county estimated those costs to be $2.9 billion over 40 years, although the club and others questioned those figures. The teams also agreed to reallocate their share of an existing park property tax to other county uses. The teams estimate these concessions are valued over $200 million to the county over 40 years. They also reiterated their commitment to a “robust” community benefits agreement in a deal, something activists have demanded before any vote.

The County Legislature will hold a meeting on Monday where teams will attempt to secure a ballot measure for an April vote. Legislator Manny Abarca announced on Friday that lawmakers will consider two different proposals - a 40-year extension of the 3/8 cent sales tax to fund a new Royals stadium and renovate Arrowhead, and a separate 3/16 cent sales tax to benefit only the Chiefs. Any proposal would need to be finalized by January 23 to be ready for an April vote.

The most likely site for a downtown ballpark remains the East Village location, although more recent reports indicate the site of the Kansas City Star printing press just south of T-Mobile Center is also being considered. If the Royals come to agreement with Jackson County, that would rule out a potential location north of the river in Clay County.

The Royals have proposed a $1 billion stadium, of which an extension of the sales tax would generate about $350 million in public funding. It is still unclear how the remainder would be paid for, and what infrastructure upgrades the county and city would be responsible for. The $1 billion ballpark district would be privately financed, although reports indicated that if the Kansas City Star printing press location was chosen, the ballpark district could be scaled back with the Power and Light District already near that location.

Poll

Would you vote to approve a 40-year extension of the 3/8 cent sales tax for a new Royals stadium and to renovate Arrowhead?

This poll is closed

  • 69%
    Yes
    (334 votes)
  • 30%
    No
    (148 votes)
482 votes total Vote Now