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Unified Government sets terms for purchase of CommunityAmerica Ballpark

Kansas City T-BonesIf the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City is to buy CommunityAmerica Ballpark, the Kansas City T-Bones (independent; American Association) will need to agree to a list of lease demands.

The Unified Board of Commissioners voted tonight to move forward with a potential purchase of the ballpark after receiving minimal opposition from the public. (We’re guessing the big reason why there was no opposition was the fact that the purchase would be funded by STAR Bonds, issues against sales taxes generated in the taxation district.) The vote tonight was fairly procedural (technically, it was to approve a change to the development plan in the Village West district, where the ballpark is located), but it did allow the public to see what sort of terms the T-Bones would need to agree to for the sale to move forward. Unified is offering $5.5 million for the ballpark to Ehlert Development Corp. (which still owes $9.5 million against original construction costs) and will put $2.5 million more into facility improvements. In return, Unified is looking for a new 20-year lease (with an out for Unified after 2015), with veto power over a buyer should the Ehlerts sell the team:

The UG also proposes that the team share a quarter of all net profits from non-baseball activities at the stadium, such as concerts. The stadium would have to be available year round for use by the Kansas City, Kan. Parks & Recreation Department, as long as there is no conflict with the baseball schedule….

The agreement would give the Unified Government some veto power, should the Ehlert family want to sell the team during the course of the lease.

Unless the new owner had “a value of at least $5 million dollars and considerable baseball experience,” the UG could block the sale.

The Unified Government and Ehlert Development Corp. will negotiate a ballpark lease and final terms of the deal.


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