Top Ad
I DIG Radio
Listen live to the best music from around the world!
I DIG Style
Learn about the latest fashion styles and more...

Bill approved to lure Chiefs, Royals to Kansas

Written by 
Published in Baseball
Tuesday, 18 June 2024 18:37

TOPEKA, Kan. -- Kansas legislators approved a bipartisan plan Tuesday aimed at luring the Kansas City Chiefs away from Missouri by helping finance a new stadium for the Super Bowl champions.

The bill passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature and sent to Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly would allow Kansas to issue bonds to cover up to 70% of the costs of a new stadium in the state for the Chiefs and another for Major League Baseball's Kansas City Royals. The plan also encourages the teams to move their practice facilities to the Kansas side of the metropolitan area, which is split by the two states' border.

Kansas would pay off its bonds over 30 years with revenues from sports betting, Kansas Lottery ticket sales and new sales and alcohol taxes collected from shopping and entertainment districts around the sites for the new stadiums.

Korb Maxwell, an attorney for the Chiefs who lives on the Kansas side of the border, said the state's lawmakers were "embracing the possibility of the Chiefs and the Royals" and can now make a "very compelling offer" to the NFL team.

"We're excited about what happened here today," he said after the bill cleared the Legislature. "This is incredibly real."

The votes were 84-38 in the House and 27-8 in the Senate. Kelly stopped short of saying she'll sign the stadium-financing bill, but in a statement, she praised the effort behind it.

"Kansas now has the opportunity to become a professional sports powerhouse," she said.

Kansas legislators see the two teams as in play because in April, voters on the Missouri side of the Kansas City metropolitan area refused to extend a sales tax used to keep up the teams' existing stadiums, which sit side by side.

Top Republicans in the GOP-controlled Legislature had promised that the stadium proposal wouldn't be debated until the Legislature approved a plan that would cut income and property taxes by a total of $1.23 billion over the next three years. Many lawmakers argued that voters would be angry if the state helped finance new stadiums without cutting taxes.

"We definitely need to demonstrate that we're getting relief to our citizens," Senate President Ty Masterson, a Wichita-area Republican who backed the stadium-financing plan, said.

Kelly called a special session to have lawmakers consider reducing taxes after she vetoed three tax-cutting plans before legislators adjourned their regular annual session May 1. Once legislators convened the special session, Kelly couldn't control what they considered, and that created an opening to consider the stadium-financing plan.

The first version of the plan emerged in late April, but lawmakers didn't vote on it before adjourning. It would have allowed state bonds to finance all stadium construction costs, but the version passed by lawmakers Tuesday would cap the amount at 70% and require legislative leaders and the governor to sign off on any bonding plan.

House Commerce Committee Chair Sean Tarwater, a Kansas City-area Republican, said the Chiefs are likely to spend between $500 million and $700 million in private funds on a new stadium.

"There are no blank checks," Tarwater told GOP colleagues during a briefing on the plan before the House began debating it.

A new nonprofit group, Scoop and Score, formed last month to push for bringing the Chiefs to Kansas, and that group and the Royals together hired more than 30 lobbyists for the special session. But the national free-market, small-government group Americans for Prosperity and the Kansas Policy Institute, a free-market think tank, oppose the measure, and both have been influential with conservative Republicans.

Free-market conservatives have long opposed state and local subsidies for specific businesses or projects. And economists who've studied pro sports teams have concluded in dozens of studies over decades that subsidizing their stadiums isn't worth the cost.

"Most of the money that gets spent on the Chiefs is money that would otherwise be spent on other entertainment projects," said Andrew Zimbalist, an economics professor at Smith College in central Massachusetts who has written multiple books about sports.

Missouri officials have said they'll do whatever it takes to keep the teams but haven't outlined any proposals.

"The story now is that today was largely in my opinion about leverage," Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas said. "And the teams are in an exceptional leverage position."

The two teams' lease on their stadium complex runs through January 2031, but Maxwell said renovations on the team's Arrowhead Stadium should be planned seven or eight years in advance.

"There is an urgency to this," added David Frantz, the Royals' general counsel.

Supporters of the stadium plan argued that economists' past research doesn't apply to the Chiefs and Royals. They said the bonds will be paid off with tax revenues that aren't being generated now and would never be without the stadiums or the development around them. Masterson said it's wrong to call the bonds a subsidy.

And Maxwell said: "For a town to be major league, they need major league teams."

But economists who've studied pro sports said similar arguments have been a staple of past debates over paying for new stadiums. Development around a new stadium lessens development elsewhere, where the tax dollars generated would go to fund services or schools, they said.

"It could still help Kansas and maybe hurt Missouri by the same amount," Zimbalist said. "It's a zero-sum game."

Read 50 times


Haaland scores, but Celtic hit 4 past City for win

Haaland scores, but Celtic hit 4 past City for win

Manchester City lost 4-3 to Celtic in the first game of their preseason tour of the U.S. on Tuesday...

Maresca defends Fernández amid racist chant

Maresca defends Fernández amid racist chant

EmailPrintOpen Extended ReactionsSANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Chelsea boss Enzo Maresca has said Enzo Fern...

Ranking the top 25 women's soccer players of the 21st century

Ranking the top 25 women's soccer players of the 21st century

EmailPrintOpen Extended ReactionsWomen's football has grown exponentially in the 21st century, espec...

2026 FIFA






George 'all-in' on making deep run with 76ers

George 'all-in' on making deep run with 76ers

EmailPrintOpen Extended ReactionsCAMDEN, N.J. -- The Philadelphia 76ers held a pair of news conferen...

Sources: Reggie Jackson to sign with 76ers

Sources: Reggie Jackson to sign with 76ers

EmailPrintOpen Extended ReactionsVeteran guard Reggie Jackson has agreed on a contract buyout with t...


Yelich (back) exits win in sixth, may land on IL

Yelich (back) exits win in sixth, may land on IL

EmailPrintOpen Extended ReactionsCHICAGO -- Milwaukee Brewers All-Star outfielder Christian Yelich l...

Skenes pitches into 9th, suffers 1st loss as pro

Skenes pitches into 9th, suffers 1st loss as pro

EmailPrintOpen Extended ReactionsPITTSBURGH -- Rookie Paul Skenes lost for the first time in 12 care...

Sports Leagues

  • FIFA

    Fédération Internationale de Football Association
  • NBA

    National Basketball Association
  • ATP

    Association of Tennis Professionals
  • MLB

    Major League Baseball
  • ITTF

    International Table Tennis Federation
  • NFL

    Nactional Football Leagues
  • FISB

    Federation Internationale de Speedball

About Us

I Dig® is a leading global brand that makes it more enjoyable to surf the internet, conduct transactions and access, share, and create information.  Today I Dig® attracts millions of users every month.r


Phone: (800) 737. 6040
Fax: (800) 825 5558
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.