There is No Question – Vote Yes on Tuesday

Sports are a passion to be enjoyed by both the young and the old. As children, we think of sports as a game, and it's something we do because we generally excel at them before age sets in. As adults, we are far more passionate about watching sports, because our bodies are too old to take the physical pounding it takes to keep playing.

But regardless of your age, sports are something that drive our free time and offer up countless distractions. They also allow us to relive moments in our lives that define our souls as fans.

In Kansas City, we are blessed to have two major league sports franchises, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals. Some cities only have one hometown team to root for. Some bigger cities have numerous teams to choose from. I've lived in big cities and small ones. I lived in Los Angeles when there was no NFL team. I enjoyed baseball games in Anaheim when the Angels only had one city in their name.

On Tuesday, the future of sports in our great city is on the line. Unfortunately, not everyone in the Kansas City Metropolitan area will have a vote. I don't because I'm rooted on the Kansas side. Taxpayers and citizens in Jackson County, Missouri will decide the fate of the Chiefs and Royals.

Is this fair? Probably not, but regardless of the poor politics, poor city planning and inability to unify Kansas and Missouri politicians, Tuesday's vote to enhance, refurbish and develop Arrowhead Stadium and Kauffman Stadium is critical to the lifeblood that drives sports fans in our area.

Growing up as a Chiefs and Royals fan was easy. I'm regrettably old enough to remember the Kansas City Athletics and the Chiefs only two Super Bowl appearances. I'm also grateful that for the majority of my life in Kansas City, I've been able to enjoy both sports franchises.

The thought of that changing in the next 48 hours is disconcerting.

A lot has been written about the Chiefs and/or Royals leaving Kansas City. Many have speculated that if this vote fails, both of them could leave.

I think the Chiefs are far too shrewd to move this franchise. They are the kings of the city and they own the sports marketplace 365 days a year.

The Royals are a different matter. I have alot more apathy for a franchise that has been run with tight pockets and zero foresight. I love the Royals, and they would be missed in the city, but they are a franchise with no direction on or off the field. I think most fans could survive without them, especially when you consider that Kansas City will probably be home to an NBA or NHL franchise before 2008, when the Sprint Center is completed.

When the Royals won the World Series in 1985, Kansas City was a baseball town. That's changed. Fighting between the players and the owners nearly killed the sport.

The Chiefs endured numerous losing seasons until Carl Peterson arrived in 1988. Since then the Royals and Chiefs have gone in opposite directions. The Chiefs began winning and the Royals began losing.

Still, the fans of our great community support the teams through thick and thin. That doesn't happen in other cities. Fan support rises and falls with the quality of the product on the field. In Kansas City, for the most part, we enter each season with the hopes our teams will contend for championships.

Obviously the Chiefs are far closer to a championship than the Royals, but our baseball team has a solid minor league system that can produce the players capable of winning a title.

But will we see these players develop in Kansas City? Probably not, unless this vote passes on Tuesday.

At stake are major improvements to Arrowhead, including larger concourses, more rest rooms and more luxury suites. The negative side is the rumor that the press box will be moved to the top of the stadium. Since so many of the local media support the vote, we hope this won't happen.

The Chiefs, and more importantly the fans, would be the benefactor of keeping the Arrowhead bowl intact. The sight lines at Arrowhead stadium are the best in the NFL. There's not a bad seat in the house and it could never be duplicated. It would be impossible to re-build Arrowhead from the ground up while preserving the sight lines.

The Royals would gain more luxury suites and potentially raise revenues from greater amenities. They'd also gain wider concourses, better restrooms and hopefully better food. Most importantly, they'd be able to compete with stadiums who are drawing more fans and earning larger revenues in the same small market.

David Glass has promised that he would re-invest any additional revenues back into the team. We're assuming he's a man of his word because we generally hear how much he hates losing.

Both teams would benefit from the rolling roof. It will all but guarantee Kansas City a Super Bowl. It also has the potential for multiple NCAA Final Fours and an MLB All-Star game. Those three events alone would pay for the stadiums until the leases expire.

I've heard all the negatives from the few local politicians that claim this vote, if approved, is bad for Jackson County taxpayers. I've sat through sessions with the Jackson County Sports Commission when discussing the stadium issues. They've been taxing mentally, to say the least. But we can't make this vote about politics. We can't make it about which team gets the better end of the deal. We can't make it about which team is contributing more money towards the renovations.

It has to be about restoring the pride to Kansas City. It's also about saving our franchises from Los Angeles, Portland or San Antonio.

We had the vision back in the late 60's to build two state-of-the-art facilities. We have a chance to make them the crown jewels of their respective sports once again.

Let's forget about how we got here and the votes that failed in the past. Forget that you prefer one sport over the other. Let's hope that the great citizens of Jackson County rise up and bail out the rest of us.

The plan isn't perfect, but that shouldn't matter.

This is our time to stand up and say ‘YES.'

By doing that we can insure that our children and grandchildren enjoy the Chiefs and Royals for decades to come. Top Stories