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Royals, Chiefs explicitly commit to Jackson County

The Kansas City Royals and the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs reiterated their desire to lease Jackson County venues, with a new Royals ballpark and a renovated Arrowhead Stadium funded by an extended sales tax.

Though there’s been talk of both teams looking at venues in the greater Kansas City metro area outside of Jackson County, the fact is that the Royals have been focused on the downtown area and the Chiefs steadfast in their desire for a renovated Arrowhead Stadium. Both goals could be boosted by the extension of a 3/8-cent sales tax used previously for venue renovations.

In addition to supporting the extension of the sales tax and committing to 40-year leases, both teams proposed a restructuring of the leases and would pick up the costs of insurance and the proceeds of a park levy. The potential cost of insurance has been a concern to some Jackson County legislators–though that concern seems to be founded on wildly inaccurate price estimates–so the offer by both teams to cover premiums represents some real money.

Here’s the full statement:

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Time is of the essence here: if voters are to be asked to approve an extension of the sales tax (which generated almost $50 million last year), it must be approved by the county legislature by Jan. 23 to be placed on the April 2 special election ballot.

Now, there are lots of political considerations at play here involving the city, Mayor Quinton Lucas–a supporter of the facilities–former Royals player Frank White, now Jackson County executive, and the state government. The Kansas City Star has covered them in some depth.

Rendering courtesy Kansas City Royals.

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