Voters Come Through, Save our Teams

Jackson County Taxpayers saved the day for the Chiefs and Royals. With an overwhelming majority, the voters made clear their desire to keep our two favorite sports franchises in Kansas City through 2029.

Walking around the Arrowhead Pavilion last evening and waiting for the results, there seemed little doubt among election officials and team representatives that the funding to secure the stadiums would pass.

There was also some very glaring pessimism that the movement for the rolling roof would fail. Lamar Hunt indicated that he and his family would not let this issue die, even if they saw it fail by a mere 3,000 votes.

"We hope the dream of the roof is not lost," Hunt said.

According to Hunt a decision will have to be made sometime in April whether to table the idea or push ahead to find another way to get it done.

"I would think we'd need to act quickly because of the architectural designs that will have to be done before any construction can start," Hunt said.

The issue at hand is the fact that all the architectural designs, including the roof, have already been roughed out.

At stake is the 2015 Super Bowl, and a commitment by the NCAA to bring back the Final Four to Kansas City. The NCAA has already made a commitment to the city of Indianapolis, enabling them to host the Final Four every five years. A similar deal could happen in Kansas City if the roof issue gets settled.

The Royals, thanks to the renovation plans, will be awarded the MLB All-Star game in the next decade. The Royals were not a proponent of the rolling roof, but hopefully they get behind it in the future.

The Royals were carried by the Chiefs in this stadium vote and they should find a way to keep Hunt's dream alive. David Glass owes that to the Chiefs long-standing owner.

The roof will cost just over $200 Million. It could easily be funded by another tax or a combination of financial assistance from the state. Sponsorships are possible, but only one-third of the money generated for naming rights would go to the cost or upkeep of the roof. The balance based on the leases signed last January by both teams will go to local and state charities.

Still, it's something that needs to happen, and I have little doubt that the city officials and the teams will find another way to get these taxes passed or come up with an alternate financial package.

Despite the failure of the roof vote, our city will enjoy the Chiefs and the Royals through the 2029 season.

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