Connect with us

NFL

Could Chiefs move to Kansas? State takes step toward trying to lure team away from neighboring Missouri

On Friday, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly made a move that will enable the state to lure the Kansas City Chiefs as well as the MLB’s Kansas City Royals from Missouri, via ESPN. Kelly signed legislation that will help both professional sports teams pay for new stadiums if they indeed decide to change locations. 

The Chiefs have had every intent to remain at Arrowhead Stadium, extending the lease in a renovated facility and stadium complex that would keep the franchise in the state of Missouri for the next several decades. The renovation plans still have a hurdle to clear, however, and the state of Kansas is officially ready to pounce. 

Earlier in the week, Kansas lawmakers approved a House bill that would change certain criteria for STAR (sales tax and revenue) bonds qualification, via the Associated Press. STAR bonds are a financing tool that allows Kansas municipalities to issue bonds to finance the development of major commercial, entertainment and tourism projects. The measure now goes to the Kansas Senate. 

The attempt to lure the Chiefs to cross the state line from Missouri to Kansas has been in play. The bill will also require any pro sports team development to include a 30,000-plus seat complex with at least $1 billion in investment. This is also an attempt to lure the Kansas City Royals’ new MLB stadium plans into Kansas. 

The Chiefs announced plans to renovate GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium this year, but those plans may be changing, thanks to some developments back in April. The voters in Jackson County, Missouri, rejected a sales tax measure that would have helped fund major renovations to Arrowhead Stadium and a new downtown ballpark for the Royals. 

With the measure not being passed, the Chiefs may have to look elsewhere and build a new stadium. A potential move to Kansas doesn’t force the Chiefs to relocate to another city if they can’t reach a deal with Jackson County. Kansas legislation doesn’t have to put a stadium sales tax up to vote, giving the Chiefs an option they’ll strongly consider. 

“I do feel very much a sense of urgency, and we will approach it from a broader perspective going forward because time is short for us at this point. So, we need to see what other options are out there for us,” Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt said back in April, via a transcript provided by the team. “I really can’t speculate on how any of that is going to turn out. 

“GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium is a special place for our family and our fanbase. That was one of the reasons we focused on it with the last effort. Going forward, it may make more sense for us to be in a new stadium.”

The Chiefs will have options in building a new stadium, which appears to be the plan going forward with the STAR criteria passed. Hunt isn’t abandoning an opportunity to remain at Arrowhead Stadium, but getting a new stadium is gaining traction. 

The new stadium may not be an open-air stadium, either. 

“We were obviously very focused on GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Obviously it’s a special place for our fanbase and I believe it could be a special place for our fanbase for another 25 years with the right renovation,” Hunt said. “But we’re just going to have to be open minded in how we approach this. 

“That may involve a new stadium, and it could be an open-air stadium or it could be a dome stadium.”

Go to Source
Author: Jeff Kerr
June 22, 2024 | 12:10 pm

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

More in NFL