Kansas City Chiefs and Royals $2 Billion Stadium Funding Rejected—Both Teams Consider Leaving Kansas City

By Thea Felicity

Apr 03, 2024 01:20 PM EDT

Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 11: Mecole Hardman Jr. #12 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates with Patrick Mahomes #15 and after scoring the game-winning touchdown in overtime to defeat the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 during Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(Photo : Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Voters in the Kansas City area have decided not to approve continuing a sales tax intended to fund stadium projects for the Kansas City Chiefs (an NFL team) and the Kansas City Royals (an MLB team), per BNN Bloomberg. 

As a result, the future of these teams in the city is now uncertain, as they may face challenges in funding necessary stadium improvements or new constructions.

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Why Kansas City Voters Rejected The Funding for NFL Chiefs and MBL Royals

The tax extension, put forth in Jackson County, Missouri's recent election, aimed to generate over $2 billion over four decades. This funding would have supported the Chiefs' plans to renovate the aging Arrowhead Stadium at an estimated cost of $800 million. In comparison, the Royals sought funds for a new $2 billion ballpark and entertainment district in downtown Kansas City. 

Despite efforts, according to unofficial results from the Jackson County Board of Election Commissioners, 58% of voters rejected the proposal, with only 42% in favor. 

Critics argued that the measure would provide large subsidies to wealthy team owners, and concerns were raised about the potential displacement of small businesses due to the Royals' relocation plans. 

Both teams had previously hinted at leaving Kansas City if the tax measure failed. 

Chiefs President Mark Donovan emphasized the need to explore all options, including relocation, although the team prefers to remain. Meanwhile, Royals Chairman and CEO John Sherman expressed the organization's intent to evaluate the vote's outcome and chart a path forward. 

Notably, selling a stake in the team to fund renovations was ruled out by the Hunt family, Chiefs' owners. The election outcome is seen as a litmus test for public willingness to finance professional sports stadiums, with varying success rates in the past similar measures. 

Mayor Quinton Lucas acknowledged voter dissatisfaction with the handling of the stadium proposals and expressed a commitment to collaborating with the teams on a more inclusive process moving forward.

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