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A closer look at options for the Royals and Chiefs after election loss

Voters rejected a stadium sales tax proposal to benefit the two teams
brady voth.png
Posted at 6:08 PM, Apr 03, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Voters said they want more transparency and collaboration from the Royals and Chiefs if they decide to ask voters again for sales tax money after voters rejected a sales tax proposal Tuesday.

Question 1 on the Kansas City, Missouri, and Jackson County ballots failed 58 to 42.

Had the proposal passed, the county would have collected a 3/8th-cent sales tax to help the Royals build a new stadium in the Crossroads and the Chiefs renovate GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.

Throughout the campaign, the teams threatened to move if the ballot measure failed

But Wednesday, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas expressed optimism the teams would continue negotiations to potentially bring a new question to voters at another election.

“All of us in public office care a great deal that we see that kind of conversation moving forward," Lucas said. "I have every bit of belief these teams will be here 10 years from now, 20 years from now."

The teams did not make any public statements Wednesday, nor did the governors of Missouri or Kansas.

In 2022, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said a border war truce, intended to keep Kansas and Missouri from luring businesses away from each other, did not apply to the Chiefs.

Since Kansas launched sports betting, it puts a portion of the revenue in a fund dedicated to luring a professional sports team to the state.

The Kansas Department of Commerce told KSHB 41 News Wednesday there is currently $4,098,000 in the fund. That’s a lot less than the roughly $2 billion the Royals and Chiefs stood to gain from the Jackson County sales tax question.

Wyandotte County, Kansas, Administrator David Johnston said in a statement, "While the dust has hardly settled following last night's vote, we can confirm that, as of now, we have not received any inquiries from the Royals or the Chiefs regarding the "Dotte."

Jackson County Legislator Sean Smith will launch an online survey this week for voters to provide feedback on what they liked and didn’t like about the team's proposals and processes. He hopes to use the data to help the teams create a better proposal.

“I don’t think people want the teams to leave, I don’t think it was a rejection of the teams,” Smith said. “I think it was a rejection of some of the specifics and I’d like to be able to put some numbers and some real data around those specifics.”

To participate in the survey, email Sean@SeanSmithForMO.com.

Smith is running for a seat this fall in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Voters like Brady Voth are holding out hope for a downtown stadium. He’d like the Royals to create a more well-defined plan.

“Let’s get a little more firm on these plans and see if we can make it happen,” Voth said.

There are others who don't want another stadiums sales tax on the ballots.

Cody Boston doesn't want another proposal. He doesn’t believe in subsidizing sports stadiums with public money.

“That’s a lot of money," Boston said. "I’d love to see it go toward housing, permanent cold and hot weather shelter for houseless population. Literally anything else.”

When voters rejected a stadium sales tax proposal across multiple counties in 2004, the teams came back with a different proposal only in Jackson County in 2006.

Voters approved that sales tax for stadium renovations. It’s scheduled to remain in place through the fall of 2031.