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Proposal to extend 3/8-cent sales tax for Royals, Chiefs stadiums gets first revision

Ordinance now requires community benefits agreement
standupkc stadium talks.jpg
Posted at 2:12 PM, Dec 18, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Legislators in Jackson County, Missouri, formally introduced an ordinance Monday to extend a 3/8-cent sales tax for 40 years to help the Royals build a new stadium and help the Chiefs maintain GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.

The tax has been in place since 2006 and will expire in 2031 without voter approval. The current proposal would ask voters to extend the tax in the April 2024 election.

The county’s proposal received a revision right away. An amendment added Monday now requires the Royals and Chiefs to agree to a community benefits agreement before receiving the tax dollars.

Members of the advocacy group Stand Up KC showed up at Monday morning’s meeting with signs in support of the community benefits agreement requirement.

Terrence Wise, a leader within the group, explained a community benefits agreement would include several stipulations including union labor, affordable housing and creating public transportation.

“A strong CBA is not free tickets to a Royals game, not a camp with Salvy and the Royals players. It’s good union jobs — not only that the stadium is union-built, but it’s union-ran,” Wise said. “For every one unit that’s displaced for the new stadium, three new affordable units are built in place. And folks in some of the poorest zip codes in our county are given the first opportunity at the new jobs that will be created.”

The Royals have not announced where their new stadium will go.

In its most recent public statement, the team said it is considering two sites — one in the East Village, a part of downtown Kansas City within Jackson County, and one in North Kansas City, within Clay County. It is negotiating with leaders in both locations.

Jackson County Executive Frank White hinted Monday the legislature shouldn’t pass the ordinance until the Royals commit to building in Jackson County.

“My goal is to get a lease agreement and a community benefits agreement that’s going to be great for the taxpayers and all involved before we move forward,” White said.

One legislator argued this proposal is necessary to show the county's commitment to the teams during the negotiation process.

“I think this was an effort to drive the Chiefs and the Royals to the table so they realize we’re not playing around, we’re trying to get this negotiated," explained Legislator Manny Abarca.

Legislators held discussions on Ordinance 5822 during Monday’s meeting. The item will appear on the agenda for the legislature’s next meeting on Friday, Dec. 29.