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Voters reject Chiefs/Royals stadium tax, future in doubt

KC screws up stadium tax vote/YouTube

Voters diss Chiefs & Royals. 

Blog King, Mass Appeal

KANSAS CITY — Jackson County taxpayers have spoken and, because 58% of voters said “no,” the stadium sales tax plan was rejected on Tuesday. That basically means, barring a civic miracle, the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals are egressing Jackson County — and possibly the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. “The people of Kansas City and Jackson County love the Chiefs and the Royals. Today, they rejected plans and processes they found inadequate,” tweeted Mayor Quinton Lucas. “Over the months ahead, I look forward to working with the Chiefs and Royals to build a stronger, more open, and collaborative process that will ensure the teams, their events and investments remain in Kansas City for generations to come.” Back in February, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt revealed a $800 million renovation plan for a “reimagined Arrowhead Stadium.”

Clark and his family were prepared to commit $300 million to the project. Royals owner John Sherman revealed plans for a brand new, multi-billion dollar downtown stadium in the Crossroads area. He vowed to commit $1 billion of his own money to complete the project. Had taxpayers voted “yes,” it would’ve extended a 3/8 cent sales tax to help fund the aforementioned projects while keeping both franchises in Jackson County another 40 years.

Taxpayers would’ve also paid $2 billion, financed for 40 years. We’re talkin’ $12.50 per month, roughly $150 per year for each taxpayer. Hell, Jackson County people spend $12.50 per day at McDonald’s alone. Chiefs president Mark Donovan, who held a watch party with Mr. Hunt and others, was pissed. “First and foremost, we’ve been talking a lot about the democratic process and respect the process,” Donovan said.

“We respect the decision of the Jackson County voters tonight. We’re disappointed. We feel we put forth the best offer for Jackson County. We were ready to extend the longstanding partnership [with Jackson County]. This is important. We want to thank everyone that worked tirelessly on our behalf. We truly appreciate all the effort, all the time and all the work that you all put in. We will do and will look to do what is in the best interest of our fans and our organization moving forward. Thank you very much.”

Translation: “We’re gettin’ the hell outta Jackson County.”

So, what’s next?

The Chiefs and Royals are now free agents. They can go to any city that makes the best offer. Locally, Wyandotte and Clay counties are interested. Nationally, San Antonio wants the Chiefs and Nashville wants the Royals. Other cities are also expected to make a bid. ESPN’s leading story this morning was our Chiefs and Royals could be leaving Kansas City — and it’s definitely possible.

Sh*t, I’m old enough to remember my Kansas City Kings moving to Sacramento in 1985.

I still get PTSD watching ’em ball out in Cali.

It’s like watching a sexy ex-girlfriend f*ck’ another guy.

I don’t wanna see that sh*t.

If you recall, the St. Louis Rams won the Super Bowl then moved to Los Angeles because they couldn’t get a new stadium.

Ditto for the Seattle Supersonics who moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder.

The Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens after gettin’ rejected.

Cleveland is lucky to get another NFL team.

St. Louis wasn’t as fortunate.

The San Diego Chargers moved to Los Angeles because they couldn’t get a new stadium.

I can go on and on.

Teams move all the time.

After last night’s vote, we could certainly lose the Chiefs and Royals.

Don’t think it can’t happen.

Who’s at fault?

Can’t lie. The rollout was awful. I’m talkin’ piss-poor. As previously mentioned, the Chiefs and Royals revealed their plans right after the Super Bowl then rushed the sh*t on April’s ballot. Taxpayers need more than 2 months to make that kind of pecuniary decision. That being said, politicians made mistakes too. Jackson County Executive Frank White was against the plan from the beginning.

Mayor Lucas failed to publicly support the project.

I just assume he’s against it too.

The entire ordeal sucks.

Sherman’s wife, Marny, believes the Royals and Chiefs are done with Jackson County.

“Unfortunately neither team will work with Jackson County again,” she wrote on Facebook.

“They had been working behind the scenes for two years attempting to get a location approved. Which was, I think, Frank White’s plan all along. In any case most unfortunate for sports fans in KC. The lack of leadership has lost the city two treasured assets. I mean, if you don’t support the Chiefs after 3 Super Bowl wins, why would they stay? We will be lucky if both teams wind up in Kansas. At least still in the area!”

“No more Jackson County for sure,” she added.


Here’s what fans are saying:

“Massive win for Kansas City and the fight against billionaires. Proud of Missouri for not transferring wealth to people who don’t need it.”

“Might have helped the Chiefs and Royals to not be completely sketchy and change plans a few days before the vote (after people started voting).”

“Thoughts and prayers for the cheap billionaire owners who might not be subsidized by taxpayers.”

“Oof, how embarrassing for the politicians who pushed the ‘Yes’ vote. Amazing win for Kansas Citians.”

Are you pissed at the results?

Will you still support the San Antonio Chiefs and Nashville Royals?

Watch Donavan and Sherman express their disappointment.

Share your thoughts.

This Post Has 47 Comments

  1. @Sggladden: If they move to the Kansas side it won’t effect much in terms of the fanbase. They’ll just be known as a Kansas team as most people that don’t really follow football already think they are.

    My issue is this. The amount of money Clark’s family is worth, he can foot the bill. The conversation needs to change. More owners need to be forced to pay their own costs of doing business instead of the citizens subsidizing said costs.

  2. Why would I want to buy a billionaire a new stadium when I can’t afford to go to a game.

  3. When you own something you take care of it yourself. When you own a house you have to do maintenance and upkeep yourself you can’t ask people to pay for it for you

  4. Clark. You’re family is work 25 BILLION. Pay for the renovations yourself. We help put money in your pocket as fans. We shouldn’t be subsidizing your costs of doing business. I’m a diehard fan, but nah, I’m with the citizens on this one. As much as I love Arrowhead, if it moves, it moves.

  5. It also didn’t help that we residents of Jackson County just got screwed on our home assessments this past year!

  6. They shouldn’t have included the Royals stadium. They will have to rewrite the requirements and vote again. They also need to include surrounding counties also. Many people use the stadium outside of Jackson county so they can help out.

  7. This was all about a new Royals stadium downtown and most people dont want it there.

  8. If Wyandotte county is willing to put up for a new Arrowhead, I’m all in. And it needs to be a dome. Village West is just a slightly better option than Independence! Big areas for tailgating, other entertainment options and still in KC. Makes to much sense.

  9. Given the current political climate in Missouri, I’m not surprised in the least. It’s really just not a great time to be going to the masses to request an extension of public funding. The Chiefs and Royals had to have known this would fail. This was a calculated move to free them to negotiate outside the county. There’s a lot of cards to be played in this game. The things I’m taking away are the community wants more guarantees of infrastructure and an expansion of the usefulness of the facilities. Ultimately this plan failed because it was exclusively focused on baseball and football, not really providing enough of a reason to vote for it. KC needs to think much bigger and invest heavily into a project that facilitates more business and the sports franchises need to be only a part of it.

    Honestly, I’m not overly optimistic that KC will come together and agree on such a large public works initiative. I think Kansas is much more likely to open up the coffers and it’s likely they poach the Royals and this perhaps drives KC to play ball with the Chiefs on a bit broader plan. A lot can still happen but that’s kind of my best guess as to how this plays out.

  10. The same local people that you’re asking to pay for the stadium are the same local fans that you are charging a ridiculous amount of money for a seat to see a game in person. Why should they bend over to give you more money while you get even richer. I truly think that if the seat prices weren’t so damn high then maybe they would have approved the vote.

  11. I’m from the Kansas side of things, so this wasn’t my vote. But I was disappointed that the only thing the Chiefs wanted to focus on with their plan was something comparable to the “fan experience” the Royals installed years ago, albeit on a larger scale. That wasn’t what I had in mind (or what I’d hoped the Chiefs and/or Royals had in mind) when they started talking about upgrade plans.

    The one big knock on the Truman Sports Complex is that there aren’t really any amenities around it that could serve to tie into game days or other big events held there. No real hotels (sorry, Adams Mark), no real restaurants (sorry, Taco Bell), and nothing for fans to do within safe walking distance to the stadiums. The Power and Light district still can’t really hold its own without subsidy, but it still is very popular for the fans attending stuff at the T-Mobile Center. The Legends district in KCK has tons of shops, restaurants, etc., and has drawn several sports venues.

    In downtown Denver, the Rockies play at Coors Field and there are a lot of bars, restaurants, and hotels nearby. Same thing with downtown Phoenix and the arena for the Suns and field for the Diamondbacks. Granted, neither of these districts are precisely pristine outside of big events. We were in Phoenix for this year’s KU bowl game and thought their amenities nearby were only kinda so-so overall, but we saw a bunch of fans from both teams everywhere we went. It had to be a huge boost to the area for the game. And all of it was walking distance from the stadium.

    When all the talk of the Royals and Chiefs planning to renovate, I was almost certain they were thinking along the lines of collaborating with a larger scale developer to either build up the area around Truman (or expand P&L or a similar area around the downtown Royals stadium) to create more of an entertainment district out of it all. That they didn’t, in my opinion, killed their chances at getting the tax extended. (Not to mention the “No new taxes” was a lie…the old tax expired, they were asking for a new one. Why not simply say, “No change in the existing amount of tax”?).

    All the years I worked downtown KCMO (over ten years, off and on since the early 90’s), I saw a lot of efforts at “reviving” the downtown come, and crash in flames. The one thing the failures all had in common was that they were all too piecemeal, too narrow in vision, and not addresing the things that people who worked (or lived or visited) downtown actually wanted or needed. The T-Mobile Center and P&L was hugely costly, is still probably a tax boondoggle for KCMO, but at least, it took big enough of a swing to spark investment for other development, like the Cosentino’s, and ultimately, a lot of downtown living spaces that didn’t really exist before. Now, when there’s a big event downtown, people head to P&L to dine or party. P&L is always the face of KC for the big sporting events at the TMO Center.

    The Chiefs and Royals needed to be thinking that big, even if the cost and effort was going to be significant. It’s not that they should want to saddle Jackson County with even *more* development cost…it’s that for the renovations and new building they’re wanting (or needing) to do, they’re going to fail by thinking small. Just like they did this time.

  12. I wonder why Clark Hunt was voted the worst owner in the NFL? He’s a greedy trust fund baby who knows nothing about the real world

  13. “Pay for your own damn stadium!” T-SHIRT SALES WOULD GO THRU THE ROOF!

  14. It’s too bad for the Chiefs that the other half of the Siamese twin in the sales tax issue is a loser. Maybe 2 playoff appearances in 38 years has voters saying wtf do I want to support a loser baseball team. I say split them up on a ballot and everything will work out the way it should.

  15. Austin, Texas will get the Chiefs. They have hotels and restaurants/entertainment venues.😮KC is a really crappy city.

  16. People are struggling to pay bills and these guys who are worth billions want someone else to fund their stadiums?

  17. “We feel we put forth the best offer for Jackson County.”
    This must be a joke

  18. I just called Governor Kelly’s office and was able to speak with someone on her staff and let them know that I would fully support bringing the Royals and Chiefs to Kansas. The guy I talked to said that he would pass my thoughts onto senior staff.

    The number is 785-296-3232 choose option 5.

  19. Take out a mortgage like any small business would have too, its insane its a debate. Why would tax payers pay for a billionaire.

  20. Just a gut feeling, but I’d say there is about a 33% chance the Royals fix their proposal in the next year or two and try again for a downtown stadium with more support, a 33% they move to KCK, a 33% they end up in Nashville, and about a 1% chance they stay at the Truman complex beyond 2030. As for the Chiefs, I’d say there is a 99% chance they stay in the KC METRO, but whether that is staying where they are or moving across the state line is an unknown at this point. Both teams handled the proposal terribly with poor communication, changing plans, etc. I don’t necessarily fault those who voted no in this instance because there were so many question marks, but spare me the ‘wE shOuLDn’t SupPorT biLLioNAireS’ BS, that’s just the cost of doing business with major sport franchises. If you don’t want to pay for it, others cities will, period.

  21. With the price of tickets and everything at the stadium to actually attend a game I would be paying the tax just to watch the Chiefs on TV. This is assuming they don’t black out the game as a form of extortion. With the new streaming paywalls they don’t care where you live. The Arrowhead deal was bundled with the Royals stadium because that didn’t have a prayer on its own. It is called attaching pork to a viable proposition. Hunt family picked up another $10 billion in the last 10 years. If a stadium was even a mediocre financial investment the Hunt family would be on it like a dog on a bone. They are not because all new stadiums are poor investments.

  22. First of all…Hunt should have offered to pay the lions share (he should have paid it all) rather than the shameful offer of $300M. He should have offered to pay $600M at least. Secondly, it was a mistake to hitch the wagon to the Royals effort. They had to understand that risk going in. How stupid. SO will we see the Chiefs take an independent run at their project separate from the Royals? Will the Royals talk “we’re moving”?

  23. @MyTwoCents: He hitched to the Royals because he wanted it to fail, lots of people are not understanding this. He wants to move.

  24. @MyTwoCents: I agree, he hitched his wagon to the Royals’ haphazard plan knowing it would fail, so he can take the best deal available even if that means moving out of the area entirely. He can say he made his best attempt to keep the team in KC if it comes to a vote at the owners’ meeting. You may get away with playing with fire around the average MLB owner. You are definitely looking to get burned if you try that with the guy who was just voted as the greediest NFL owner.

  25. I voted against it because of the dumb idea to put the royals downtown. Never heard of such an asinine thing especially in light of the Union station Chiefs parade shooting. I avoid downtown at all costs

  26. @Schlonginheimer: I agree. A lot of Royals fans, especially senior ones, probably would not want to be walking to their cars a half mile or more away from the stadium at 10:30 PM at night due to the additional risk of muggings at that time of the night. If the Royals had any weekday afternoon games scheduled, the fans would find it even more difficult to find parking because of most on street parking spots taken by downtown workers. Also, a lot of fans, even if they are not too concerned about being crime victims, probably don’t want to have to walk a half mile or more to and from their cars to watch a game. Most royals fans would probably just choose to watch the game on TV instead.

  27. I just see a bunch of anti tax sentiment here. Paying taxes in the benefit of your local community is a part of being human. Taxes are a GOOD thing.


    If you don’t support paying taxes to keep your favorite local sports corps happy, then they will go to another local community that needs and sees the benefit of supporting that said company.

    Look y’all, the Chiefs have put Kansas City on a global scale. Global. Do you understand how much revenue is being generated locally because of these sports teams?

    This blows my mind

  28. @Bhill09: Taxes should NOT be used to invest in a private business, especially when there is no return for the taxpayers. Hunt is a billionaire, and the Chiefs are highly profitable. He can pay for the stadium upgrades and still make hundreds of millions of dollars.
    Why should everyone have to make Hunt richer when many residents don’t even go to the stadium at all?

  29. No one is against taxes. We’re against going halvsies with 2 billionaire owners of fabulously profitable sports teams.

    Julia Kauffman cares about the city. She built the Kauffman Center with the city only footing the bill for the parking garage, or roughly 10 percent of the entire project.

    Can you provide any evidence that spending a billion on billionaires for stadiums is a worthwhile investment?

  30. adding sales tax should allow residents to have equity in said stadium – revenues from ticket sales, concessions, even voting on renovations

  31. I voted no on the KC stadiums. I was really pissed when the owners said they would have to consider moving if we didn’t approve giving them what they wanted. We’ve supported them all these years. That didn’t set well with me. Your wife tells you if you don’t buy her a new car she’ll have to consider all her options. Same kind of feeling.

  32. Our taxes are being used to pay for a stadium where rich people’s teams play games to entertain the masses. And the owners of those teams are the beneficiaries of a legal system that looks the other way at the obvious free market and law against anti-trust get tossed out the window. Oh, and if they don’t get enough support from the city, they’ll just move.

    Go Chiefs!

  33. Either respect the voters or you can take the team elsewhere. Not everyone’s job is dependent on football. There are more important needs for the Kansas City area than the need to enrich a billionaire.

  34. Why should tax payers pay for stadiums when the NFL is making so much money they can easily afford to pay players 30 to 50 million dollars a year while all the rest of us are barely able to put gas in our cars and groceries in our refrigerators? These athletes are out of control and they have the gall to thumb their nose at the rest of us and act like they’re better than the rest of us because they can catch a ball so they deserve the good life. Enough is enough. Not a penny of public funding should be going to these stadiums, they make enough money off their businesses to pay for their stadiums.

  35. What other privately owned for profit businesses get to charge citizen taxpayers for improvements to their business? I live in Springfield and I probably would have voted for it because of all the stupid places for my tax dollars to go to my team doesn’t bother me. That being said, you can’t be mad that people don’t want to give their money to a private company to increase the value of their assets.

  36. @Jake Colvin: Big pharma, auto manufacturers, banks, companies like Black Rock.
    At least sports teams are fun to watch.

  37. Tax payers and fans want a NEW STADIUM. Not a 53 year old one with a paint job and fancy wheels. I think the Royals plan would have worked if the Chiefs plan wasn’t half-assed and if the Hunt family put up AT LEAST 50%. As much as I wanted the measure to pass, it was a bad plan and it deserved to fail. That said, I despise the “vote NO” people and their tactics every bit as much as Sherman and Hunt.

  38. I’m waiting to see what happens if the Chiefs do indeed decide to move.
    The amount of revenue KC Missouri will lose will be astronomical and I’m betting the people bitching the loudest now might be the ones crying the loudest if the team moves.
    A move with a brand spanking new stadium will also be chosen at some point to host a Super Bowl.
    Wow, I can see the tears flowing now.

  39. They did such a poor job trying to get that passed, it seems like they didn’t want it to pass.

  40. These worthless billionaires are so entitled. They feel like they deserve to receive public tax money and in return, they get to make billions for themselves. What a joke. Glad the voters said no to this nonsense.

  41. It wasn’t just about the property tax. It was talking to property owners and not local business owners. It was the willingness to displace so many businesses in the crossroads. It was the misinformation, the waste of 3 million for advertising, and the attempted manipulation of sports fans. Also the threat to leave was a tactic suggested by a former Ron desantis campaign employee

  42. Most of the people that live in Jackson county and pay ungodly taxes so these sports teams can pay their players millions of dollars for playing a game, could careless if they move to Kansas. The Royals definitely don’t deserve a new and improved stadium they stink!

  43. Let the NFL fund it, they try to extort the taxpayers and fan base by threatening to leave, go whose stopping you, you over charge for parking, concessions and tickets anyway, have at it, typical billionaire BS

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