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How does the sales tax proposal for the Chiefs and Royals compare to other teams?

Several professional teams have stadium deals using public funds
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Posted at 3:49 PM, Jan 23, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When Jackson County voters go to the poll on April 2, they’ll decide to enter a new deal giving money collected in a special sales tax to the Royals and Chiefs.

Voters first approved giving the teams a 3/8th-cent sales tax in 2006 for a 25-year period. The teams have asked to end that tax and start a new 3/8th-cent sales tax for a period of 40 years staring in 2024.

Estimates predict the new tax would collect a little less than $50 million per year, totaling roughly $2 billion over the 40-year period. The Royals and Chiefs would split money from the tax evenly.

Should voters approve the measure in April, the Royals will use the money to build a new stadium downtown — at a site yet to be announced. The Chiefs will use their share of the money to renovate GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.

KSHB 41 News wanted to see how this proposal to give each team roughly $1 billion from retail sales in the county compares to deals in place for other sports stadiums.

Buffalo Bills

The team will receive $600 million from the state of New York to build a new stadium. Erie County will pitch in another $250 million. The team and NFL will cover the rest of the costs. Construction will total $1.4 billion, but the team will use public funding for maintenance over a 30-year period once the new stadium is built. Those costs bring the total public commitment to $1.1 billion.

Tennessee Titans

The NFL team received commitments from the state of Tennessee and city of Nashville totaling more than $1 billion. The team will pay for stadium maintenance. The new Titans stadium will cost about $2.1 billion total. The deal imposes a one-percent occupancy tax increase on hotels in Davidson County. Agencies will pay off their debts through sales tax from sales conducted at the stadium and sales made in future developments on the stadium campus. The team will also pay rent. A $3 pre-existing tax on tickets will carry over to the new deal to help pay for the project.

Las Vegas Raiders

The team is receiving $750 million from a new tax on hotel rooms in the area to help cover the public funding commitment on Allegiant Stadium. The total construction costs for the stadium was $1.9 billion. The stadium will host Super Bowl LVIII this year.

Las Vegas Athletics

To build a stadium for the baseball team once it moves from Oakland, the state of Nevada and other public jurisdictions agreed to give the team about $380 million. The team may also receive discounts on property taxes. The Athletics expect to the entire construction project to cost $1.5 billion and for the stadium to open in time for the 2028 season.

Tampa Bay Rays

The MLB team will build a new stadium in St. Petersburg, Florida. The team estimates building the new stadium will cost a total of $1.3 billion. The city and county will pitch in about half that amount. Pinellas County will cover its portion mostly using a hotel/tourism tax. The new stadium is part of a larger, $6.5 billion dollar redevelopment plan.

Los Angeles Rams

When the Rams opened SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, in 2020, they did not use any public tax dollars. Many reports said Rams owner Stan Kroenke paid for the $5.1 billion project himself. The Los Angeles Chargers also play their home games at SoFi Stadium.