NewsLocal NewsStadium Plan

Actions

'Not too worried about Kansas,' Parson says of Missouri's efforts to keep Chiefs, Royals in state

Posted: 4:32 PM, Jul 08, 2024
Updated: 2024-07-11 21:13:57-04
Governor Mike Parson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Monday he has met with several Kansas City-area leaders to explore ways to keep the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals in the state.

"All the meetings have went really well," Parson said during a bill signing in south Kansas City, Missouri. "We just need to have a plan in place and to move forward, and I think there's a real opportunity to do that."

Earlier Monday, Parson met with Clay County commissioners, North Kansas City Mayor Bryant DeLong and Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas.

Clay County Commissioner Jerry Nolte spoke with KSHB 41 News at the previously proposed ballpark site in North Kansas City at East 18th and Howell Street.

1.jpg

"The governor was very engaged and very interested," Nolte said.

Nolte said Clay County voters can’t carry a stadium project by themselves as they don’t have the tax base to make it happen.

“It is going to require the involvement of the state if we are going to go forward,” he said. “We can talk about how cool it would be for the Royals and that would be wonderful, but it has to be something that the people can sign off on.”

The governor later met with Jackson County Executive Frank White Jr. and his staff on Monday afternoon.

County Executive White Governor Parson.jpg

White commented on their meeting, calling it a "productive conversation."

"I made it clear to Governor Parson, as I have to the public before, during, and after the recent stadium sales tax campaign, that before I can support any new proposal, it must offer clear and significant benefits to the taxpayers of Jackson County," White said in part in a statement. "Additionally, the financial burden of supporting these teams must be equitably shared among all parties."

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson talks Chiefs, Royals

Parson said he believes moving forward, plans or proposals by the Chiefs and Royals should be done separately.

"I think you got to split the Chiefs and Royals," Parson said. "They're two different entities and two different business ventures here."

He continued, "I think we got to go back to the drawing board a little bit and talk to the Chiefs — 'OK, what is it that we can do here,' and then the Royals are going to have to figure out what it is what they want to do and what that site selection [is.] Site selection for the Royals is a big issue."

Just weeks earlier, the Kansas Legislature quickly moved to pass a bill to lure the teams across the state line during a special session.

RELATED | Kansas legislature passes bill to lure Chiefs, Royals across state line

The bill, later signed into law by Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, lets the state explore using STAR Bonds to fund stadium projects, including allowing 70% of a project to be funded by STAR Bonds.

Asked about the pressure Kansas has applied in the recent weeks, Parson said he's confident in Missouri's ability to put together a plan in the six months left in his tenure as governor.

"I'm not too worried about Kansas at this point. I got six months, how much more time do you need just to be able to put this together?" Parson said jokingly.

He continued, "It's a big business deal. It's a big adventure for what we're trying to do, but the last six months, we're going to try to put something together that everybody can live with and try to compete, and we will."

Parson said it'll be important to inform the everyday person on any proposals or taxes they're supporting,

He also believes collaboration between the state, KCMO officials, and Jackson County officials will be important.

"To make sure the taxpayers know what they're gonna get and what it's gonna cost them to do that," Parson said. "There's lots of options out there. There's lots of options the state has, the city has, and the county has, but all three need to be working in the same direction."

Parson said the meetings on Monday marked just the beginning, which will continue with leaders from both teams, city and county leaders.

"I think by the end of the year, we will have something on the table that will be just as good if not better than Kansas," he said.

The future of the Chiefs and Royals in Missouri has been up in the air since April when Jackson County voters rejected Question 1, a 3/8-cent sales tax for stadium projects.

While the Chiefs wanted to use the funding for renovations and additions at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, the Royals wanted to use the funding for a new downtown stadium in KCMO's Crossroads Arts District.