Future of Kansas City Chiefs, Royals could hinge on vote to help stadium funding

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The future of the Royals and Chiefs in Kansas City could be shaped Tuesday when voters in Jackson County, Missouri, decide on the extension of a sales tax to help to pay for a new downtown ballpark and major renovations to Arrowhead Stadium.

An Air Force B2 bomber flies over Kauffman Stadium before a baseball game between the Kansas City Royals and the Minnesota Twins Thursday, March 28, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. KANSAS CITY, Mo. —

“For over 50 years, we have been in partnership with the Kansas City Chiefs and Jackson County. It has been an effective and forward-looking partnership,” said John Sherman, the Kansas City businessman who purchased the Royals from the late David Glass five years ago. “We’re the second-smallest city with both an NFL franchise and a Major League Baseball club, and we want to sustain ourselves as a major league city. We want to make sure these franchises thrive here for another 50 years.

The tax extension - or, more accurately, the stadium plans - has been met with significant public pushback. Sarah Tourville, the Royals’ executive vice president, said the goal is to have the new stadium ready for opening day in 2028.The latest ballpark renderings were made obsolete just last week when the Royals acquiesced to Mayor Quinton Lucas’ request that a major street that would have been part of the stadium footprint remain open. The Royals have not said how they would fit the dimensions of a ballpark into a narrower tract of land, only that Oak Street would be undisturbed.

“A lot of that will be discussed after April 2 with the city and the neighborhood,” Sherman said, adding that he believes many of “their businesses will boom” when the stadium drives thousands of fans downtown at least 81 times a year. There would be a new parking deck to provide players, VIPs and other special guests with a better access point. New pedestrian bridges would get fans from parking lots to the stadium. There would be new ribbon boards, video boards at each end would triple and quadruple in size, and the existing suites around the stadium would be renovated.


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