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New T-Bones owner details efforts to rebuild team, ballpark

Kansas City T-Bones rendering-3
Kansas City T-Bones rendering-2
Posted at 2:02 PM, Feb 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-25 19:53:17-05

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Last fall, the Kansas City T-Bones franchise learned there was still baseball in its future.

On Tuesday, that future came into sharper focus.

New owner Mark Brandmeyer unveiled plans Tuesday that will take the T-Bones baseball stadium at Village West from a place to watch a baseball game to a place where you can watch a baseball game while also doing other activities.

RELATED: Kansas City T-Bones to host Tyrann Mathieu celebrity charity event

Tuesday’s announcement included the release of renderings of new amenities at the ballpark, as well as updated team logos.

Kansas City T-Bones rendering-4
This rendering shows plans for the Kansas City T-Bones Stadium in Kansas City, Kansas, now under new ownership.

Brandmeyer said the new plans include a craft beer garden, which may not be ready by opening day, new seating with a bar, yard games and an outdoor area for children.

"This is the way baseball should be watched," Brandmeyer told 41 Action News ahead of the official announcement Tuesday.

The upgrades will be funded by STAR Bonds, which will use future sales taxes to pay back the upfront costs, which include updating the stadium's utilities.

"One of the things that we're working on is to lower the electric bill out there," Brandmeyer said.

Brandmeyer’s purchase of the team cleared up a years-long dispute between the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, which owns the ballpark, and the previous owners.

The Unified Government will continue to pay more than half of the stadium's utilities for the first year. After that, the full bill will fall to Brandmeyer, who says taxpayers will not be on the hook for the costs.

"I can't speak on how the old ownership did it," Brandmeyer said. "All I can say is moving forward, we're going to pay our bills and be good partners with the city."

In an effort to keep the T-Bones on firm financial ground, Wyandotte County has dipped into taxpayer money over the past several years.

In 2017, the team, under former owners the Ehlert family, owed the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities $497,000.

As of last year, the team still owed $394,000 to the BPU.

The new ownership group did not inherit the debts owed by the former owners.

The first T-Bones exhibition game will be on May 11. However, as part of Brandemeyer’s vision to expand the uses of the ballpark, the team will host a celebrity charity event with Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu.