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Community Benefits Agreement key to activist group's support of stadium sales tax extension proposal

standupkc stadium talks.jpg
Posted at 9:09 PM, Jan 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-06 06:38:07-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The leader of a group of community activists said Friday a Community Benefits Agreement with the Royals is necessary for the group's support of a stadium sales tax extension.

"Hundreds of our Good Jobs and Affordable Housing for All coalition members have shown up at the Jackson County Courthouse many times over the last month to say we won’t support our hard-earned tax dollars subsidizing a new stadium until we have a strong Community Benefits Agreement in place that creates transformative living-wage union jobs and truly affordable housing," Bill Thompson, Stand Up KC leader, said in a statement.

The Royals and Chiefs released a joint statement Friday afternoon that said both teams would remain in Jackson County if voters in April approve a 3/8-cent sales tax extension for 40 years.

"As part of the proposed agreement between the teams and Jackson County, the teams have agreed to provide more than $200 million in new economic benefits to Jackson County over 40 years in a new lease agreement, alleviating the County’s obligation to pay stadium insurance premiums as well as the park levy to the teams. Under the agreement, the Chiefs will conduct an extensive renovation to iconic Arrowhead Stadium. The Royals will build a new downtown stadium and privately fund a $1 billion ballpark district," according to the joint statement from the two clubs.

Thompson said the group met three times with the Royals over the past year and gave the club a sample Community Benefits Agreements., what they want in their agreement with Royals and a process for negotiations.

"But the Royals chose to leave the table and not negotiate, saying it would be premature," Thompson said in the statement. "That was over six months ago. We have consistently kept the door open for the Royals to come to the table but they have not done so. Until they commit to negotiating a strong Community Benefits Agreement with the low-wage service and hospitality workers who will operate the stadium, our coalition will continue to oppose any movement towards public financing of the Royals stadium project."