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Kansas City Chiefs' Clark Hunt, Royals' John Sherman give final push for 'yes' vote on stadium sales tax

Voters head to polls on April 2
Posted: 1:03 PM, Mar 29, 2024
Updated: 2024-03-29 19:34:00-04
John and Clark .jpg

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Clark Hunt, Chairman and CEO of the Chiefs, and John Sherman, Chairman and CEO of the Royals, sat down with KSHB 41 News reporter Charlie Keegan to discuss Tuesday's vote on the stadium sales tax issue.

You can learn more about the stadium sales tax question on a special landing page on

LINK | Missouri Workers Coalition plans rally Monday in opposition to stadium sales tax

Friday's interview with Hunt and Sherman took place at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. The following is an edited transcript of the roughly 15-minute conversation.

Watch Charlie's interview with Clark Hunt and John Sherman in the video player below.

Royals' Sherman, Chiefs' Hunt make final pitch for April 2 stadium sales tax vote

QUESTION: We've heard criticisms about renderings for changes to GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Why is this the best plan?
Hunt: Arrowhead has been one of the best stadiums in the NFL since built over 50 years ago. It’s iconic. It’s a place football fans from all across the country and frankly all across the globe want to come to. It’s a special place. We’re fortunate thanks to the design work that went in by my dad and Jack Steadman some 50+ years ago that the bones are good enough where we can take it, renovate it and extend that life for another 25 years.”

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Kansas City Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt.

QUESTION: This week, the Royals made adjustments to their proposal and decided to keep Oak Street open. What other changes should voters expect?
Sherman: There will be no more changes before Tuesday. After Tuesday there will be a lot of discussion with the city, city council, the neighborhood about final plans for the development.

QUESTION: Jackson County Executive Frank White plans to vote no. How confident are you the teams can work with County and City after a yes vote to get fully across finish line?
Sherman: I think if we get a yes vote, how we’re going to work with the county is pretty well-defined. We have additional discussions with the city in particular in our case and the Crossroads, and the state to create what I think will be one of the best pre-game and post game experiences in all of baseball.
Hunt: We have a 50-year history of working with the sports authority and the county here at the sports complex. Just to emphasize what John said: we have leases and community benefits agreements that have been agreed to.

QUESTION: If voters choose no, would you leave Missouri or Kansas?
Hunt: We will have to consider all of our options. From the Chiefs standpoint, we’re in a building that’s 52-53 years old. At the end of the [current] lease, it will be 60 years-old and we only have seven years left on our lease. So we’ll be in a position where we need to consider our options. Clearly what we want to do is stay right here in Jackson County. Our goal is to stay here and that’s what we’re looking for on Tuesday.
Sherman: What we’re doing right now is working extremely hard to make sure we stay in Kansas City in Jackson County.

Chiefs' Hunt, Royals' Sherman talk about 'no' vote

QUESTION: What did you enjoy about the Royals Opening Day game at Kauffman Stadium yesterday?
Sherman: I took a long walk around the ballpark. I was overwhelmed by people saying good luck today, let’s beat the Twins, which we didn’t get done, but also good luck on Tuesday as well.
Hunt: It was a fun day all the way around. I enjoyed getting to see the Royals fans, many of whom are also Chiefs fans.

QUESTION: What progress are the Royals making with Kansas City, Missouri, Public School District?
Sherman: KCPS Superintendent Dr. Collier came to Arizona this month for an advisory council meeting for the Royals Literacy League at which time I spoke with her about a KCPS-specific CBA. We were having discussions about our agreement with them. Of course our first objective there is to make sure they’re kept whole on any potential lost tax revenue if the stadium site itself comes off the rolls. We certainly have crossed that threshold.

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Kansas City Royals Chairman and CEO John Sherman

QUESTION: Some criticize the Community Benefits Agreements for not being enforceable?
Hunt: Those were negotiated over many many months with different constituencies here in Kansas City who wanted to have a voice. Clearly at the end of the day, you can’t make everyone happy when you’re negotiating with such a large group. We believe the CBAs are a big commitment on behalf of the clubs to want to improve Jackson County and continue our legacy of giving back.
Sherman: I consider them totally enforceable and we are committed to be held accountable to delivering on those benefits.

John Sherman gave additional details on the full cost of Royals project:

  • $2.5B for stadium and district
  • Stadium is $1B - Royals to donate a range $300-$400 million
  • Royals will deliver $1B to the district’s development
  • Royals cover cost overruns

QUESTION: What conversations have you each had with Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas on state and city contributions?
Hunt: We've had conversations with Gov. Parson prior to our Feb. 28 announcement. Governor Parson knows we’ll be reaching out. But I think the most important thing is to focus on Tuesday and get that "yes" vote.
Sherman: We’re having conversations with both, but I agree with Clark and everybody, let’s see what happens Tuesday, then we’ll get right to work on those things.

Sherman: I think a lot about Clark’s dad and I think a lot about Ewing Kauffman. This is my hometown. I think about what this city might look like and what our sports environment might be without those two guys both having brought those franchises here. Certainly in Mr. Kauffman’s case, all that he did to make sure they stayed here. That’s a legacy that’s very very important to me and that’s a lot of what’s driving me to make sure we get across the finish line on Tuesday.

QUESTION: Are you voting?
Sherman: Yes. I’m the owner of the Royals, but I’m also a Chiefs fan. As a fan, I’m voting yes for a couple of different reasons next week. I love the environment out here [at Arrowhead] as a fan, been a [Chiefs] season ticket holder for a long time.
Hunt: Not registered to vote in Jackson County. We’ve got a lot of family here and I know they’ll all be voting yes.