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Unified Government evicts Kansas City T-Bones from CommunityAmerica Ballpark

T-Bones get new deal with KCK Unified Government
Posted at 4:38 PM, Aug 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-19 23:27:54-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, said Monday that it will end its agreement with the Kansas City T-Bones after the team defaulted on more than $760,000 in payments.

The team will be evicted from the public-owned stadium in Village West, the Unified Government said in a news release.

“We simply can’t allow them to stay when they’re not making any effort to make payments," Unified Government Public Relations Director Mike Taylor said.

All T-Bones personnel and property must be removed from CommunityAmerica Ballpark by 5 p.m. on Sept. 13, according to a letter sent to T-Bones President Adam Ehlert.

“We are shocked by what appears to be this capricious action,” Ehlert said in a statement on the T-Bones’ Facebook page. “We have been in close communication with the UG, keeping them apprised of our status as we work toward a sale of the club. Today’s timing is the real surprise, as we’ve shared publicly — and with the UG — that a sale will not be completed or announced during the season.”

The Unified Government sent a notice of default to the T-Bones in September 2018, alerting the team that it was behind in making payments.

“Termination of the Management Agreement does not relieve the T-Bones from its responsibility to repay the Unified Government and BPU for money still owed under the certain lease agreement dated February 21, 2014 (the ‘Lease Agreement’) and under the Management Agreement,” the Unified Government said in the letter.

According to the Unified Government, the T-Bones owe $358,439.53 for current utility expenses, $328,749.77 for past due Kansas City Board of Public Utilities charges, and $75,545.10 under the lease agreement.

"We will to continue to pursue that money from the T-Bones even if they go defunct and are no longer in the stadium," Taylor said.

T-Bones owners have made only three of 48 monthly payments of $1,678, according to the Unified Government.

In 2017, the Unified Government approved a new contract with the Ehlert family, making the team a manger of CommunityAmerica Ballpark rather than a tenant.

Ehlert said earlier this year that the family plans to try to sell the T-Bones to cover its mounting debts. He told 41 Action News that the team would stay in Kansas City, Kansas, but be run under new ownership.

The Unified Government said it has several options for the future of the stadium, including marketing the space to a new baseball team or using it for other athletic events, concerts and community events.

The T-Bones' season ends Sept. 2. The team had won 12 straight games entering Monday and was second in the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball's South Division.

The T-Bones are the reigning American Association champions and positioned for a return to the playoffs, though it’s unclear if the team may be evicted before the 2019 playoffs would end.

“We remain optimistic that a solution will be reached in the short-term, to retain baseball in a great market, for the long-term.”