July 22, 2024

Kansas governor signs bill to fund Chiefs, Royals stadiums into law

It’s official. Kansas is trying to take the Chiefs and Royals from Missouri.

On Friday, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed into law legislation passed by the Kansas House and Senate earlier this week, via ESPN.com.

The Kansas City metro area straddles both borders, with roughly 60 percent of the people on the Missouri side.

The law would cover 70 percent of the costs of the new stadiums, requiring the teams (math is hard) to come up with the other 30 percent.

Both teams have leases through 2030. Which means they could go west of the border in 2031.

The law doesn’t specifically name the Chiefs or the Royals. It instead refers to NFL and MLB teams “in any state adjacent to Kansas.” (That would include the Broncos and Rockies, technically.)

The door for Kansas opened when Jackson County, Missouri residents overwhelmingly rejected the extension of a sales tax to fund the renovation of Arrowhead Stadium and a new facility for the Royals.

Kansas City (Missouri) mayor Quinton Lucas said this week that the city will “lay out a good offer” for both franchises, while acknowledging that the teams now have “an exceptional leverage position.” At least one Kansas legislator thinks her state is simply leverage to get deals done in Missouri.

“The Chiefs and the Royals are pretty much using us,” Kansas Rep. Susan Ruiz said, via ESPN.com. She voted against the bill.

She’s one of the few. So if Kansas is being used, it’s being happily used. For everyone in the metro area, it’s actually better that the question comes down to Missouri or Kansas and not, say, Missouri or Texas or Missouri or Toronto or Missouri or London or Missouri or West Virginia. (Hey, I’d love to have a local team.)