After a $50,000 payment toward the franchise’s debts, the Kansas City T-Bones (independent; American Association) have pushed back their eviction date and created more time for a potential sale.
On August 19, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City Kansas announced that it would evict the T-Bones from JustBats Field at T-Bones Stadium, citing default on rent and utility payments. The eviction date was set at that time for September 13, but on Thursday it was revealed that the team has been granted a 30-day extension that will run through October 13 at 5:00 p.m. local time.
Helping to facilitate the extension was a $50,000 payment from the T-Bones, which will go toward paying off previous debts but does not relieve the organization of remaining debt. The extension also provides the Ehlert family more time to complete a sale of the T-Bones, which could lead to the team continuing operations under new ownership in 2020 and beyond. More from the Kansas City Star:
The UG granted the reprieve after the T-Bones and their American Association of Independent Professional Baseball paid $50,000 toward previous debts. The government body issued an eviction notice last month after the T-Bones racked up more than $760,000 in back rent and utility payments. As of Aug. 16, T-Bones owners had made only three out of 48 monthly payments of $1,678, putting the team in default for 45 months, the UG said in a news release last month.
On Thursday, government officials announced a 30-day extension. It allows the team and the association to continue working on a sale of the ball club and pay the debts owed until 5 p.m. on Oct. 13.
“The Unified Government looks forward to the sale of the team to new owners and repayment of the debt,” County Administrator Doug Bach said in a news release Thursday. “More importantly, we look forward to keeping a baseball team in our stadium because we view the team as a community asset and an important part of our successful Village West tourism district.”
Officials said the $50,000 payment and the eviction extension do not relieve the T-Bones of paying the remainder of the debt owed.
“The T-Bones, the American Association of Independent American Baseball, and the Unified Government have been committed to playing the 2020 season and beyond,” Joshua Schaub, the Commissioner of the American Association, said in a press statement. “This agreement with the UG is a good reinforcement of that mutual commitment,”
Financial challenges have been an issue for T-Bones ownership over the years, including difficulties that came after Ehlert Development privately financed a $12 million ballpark that was completed in 2003 and is currently known as JustBats Field at T-Bones Stadium. To alleviate financial issues, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City spent $8 million as part of a 2014 agreement to buy the ballpark and make the T-Bones a tenant, but that was not enough to prevent future difficulties. More recently, a 2017 deal made the T-Bones the manager of the facility while the two parties agreed to share in utility costs, with the Unified Government covering 55% of those expenses and the team paying the remainder. At the time of last month’s announcement, the UG stated that the club owed in excess of $687,000 in current and past due utility payments, along with $75,545.10 in rent.