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Design & Development

Jackson County legislators override veto on stadium tax vote

Featured image credit: Kansas City Royals/Populous

Featured image credit: Kansas City Royals/Populous

Jackson County legislators have overruled the decision by executive Frank White to veto an ordinance that would have placed a 3/8-cent sales tax renewal on an April ballot, with the matter linked to the long-term status of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs and Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals in the county.

White’s decision could have impacted the future of the two teams in the county but residents in Jackson County will now vote on the tax renewal after legislators voted 7-2 in favour of overriding the veto.

Four county legislators had originally supported White’s decision, meaning that the nine-member County Legislature would need six votes to override the veto. The Kansas City Star reported that two of the legislators, Jalen Anderson and Sean Smith, reversed their decision and voted in favour of the election after their concerns had been addressed.

Earlier in the month, the Chiefs and the Royals announced a commitment to remain in Jackson County if voters approve the extension of the 3/8-cent sales tax. The Chiefs and Royals currently play at Arrowhead Stadium and Kauffman Stadium, respectively, with the two venues located next to each other at the Truman Sports Complex.

Both teams’ current lease deals expire in 2031 and the Chiefs have been weighing up the possibility of building a new facility, while the Royals have detailed plans for a new stadium. In August, together with design partner Populous, the Royals issued the first detailed renderings for their two proposed stadium concepts – one of which was in Jackson County (pictured).

Today (Tuesday) marked the deadline for a decision on the stadium tax renewal being put to voters in April, and White’s veto had raised question marks over whether this deadline would be met. Legislators have ultimately voted in favour of the matter being put to a ballot and the Royals and Chiefs have welcomed the development.

In a joint statement, the two teams said: “We took an important step forward today. We thank the Jackson County legislators for their attention and care in this matter. We look forward to continuing to work with them and enabling the voters to decide on extending the longstanding partnership between the county and our teams on April 2.”

White had said that while the proposed sales tax would generate over $2bn (£1.6bn/€1.8bn) from Jackson County residents, there was “no clear understanding or assurance” regarding the teams’ commitments and contributions to the county.

As part of the agreement proposed by the Chiefs and the Royals earlier in the month, the teams agreed to provide more than $200m in new economic benefits to the county over 40 years through a new lease deal.

A new stadium for the Royals in Jackson County’s East Village would have a capacity of 34,500 to 35,000 fixed seats. The project would consist of a ballpark anchoring a 27-acre development close to the Power & Light District, where the T-Mobile Center arena already exists.