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More good news for Royals fans: Ballpark debt trimmed

Kansas City RoyalsThis won’t get a lot of play with the Royals bringing postseason play to Kansas City for the first time since 1985, but it should: debt refinancing on Kauffman and Arrowhead stadiums will save Jackson County $32 million.

Low interest rates spurred Jackson County officials to seek refinancing of the bonds issued to pay for Kauffman Stadium and Arrowhead Stadium upgrades, in a move approved by voters in 2006. The original bond issue kept MLB and the NFL in a small market, and now that deal is getting even better for local residents. From The Examiner:

“This transaction looks incredibly good for us,” County Executive Mike Sanders told county legislators Monday. They approved the measure unanimously.

Voters OK’d renovating the stadiums in 2006, locking the Chiefs and Royals into 25-year leases. Also, Major League Baseball promised an All-Star Game at Kauffman if the renovations went through, and that happened in 2012.

Now the county is refinancing $351 million in bonds, going from 4.8 percent interest to 3.1 percent. It saves the county $31.47 million by the time the bonds are fully paid off in 2031. That works out to an average of $1.8 million a year.

It also helps that Jackson County has been zealous about improving its debt rating: Moody’s upgraded the county bond rating from Aa3 to Aa2.

Savings from the bond refinancing will be plowed back into facility maintenance.

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