New Chiefs stadium on the list of options after failed tax vote

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After the failed April stadium tax vote, the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals are reviewing their options for future steps.

On Saturday, Chiefs chairman/CEO Clark Hunt said that after a conversation with Royals owner John Sherman, the two teams will go their separate ways for future stadium plans.

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“I really think at this point, it makes sense for both of us to work independently,” Hunt said. “There’s certainly nothing to preclude us coming back and doing something together. But he also feels the sense of urgency. And I know he’s eager to try to find a long-term solution which we are as well.

“The fact that we’ve been here together for over 50 years at the (Jackson County) Sports Complex, I think, was really the reason that we were working together. We also currently have an existing sales tax that was voted in some 17 or 18 years ago, that supports both stadiums. The Royals are going to be looking at options that may not include the Sports Complex and we’ll be doing the same thing. So I really think at this point, it makes sense for us to go our separate ways.”

The Royals, who had pledged at least $1 billion from ownership for their project, wanted to use their share of the tax revenue to help fund a $2 billion-plus ballpark district in the Crossroads district.

The back-to-back Super Bowl champion Chiefs, who had committed $300 million in private money, would have used their share as part of an $800 million renovation of Arrowhead Stadium.

The current lease lease at Truman Sports Complex lasts through Jan. 31, 2031. Sherman has said the Royals would not play at Kauffman Stadium beyond the 2030 season.

The Chiefs are hoping to remain at Arrowhead Stadium and Hunt has denied being in talks with Kansas state officials about building a stadium in that state.

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“We’ve been pretty focused the last three weeks on the draft, but we know we need to turn our attention back to the stadium in front here in the coming months.”

Renovating Arrowhead is still an option but building a new stadium is also on the list of options for the franchise.

“When we started on this process, three years ago, it felt like we had a very long time, a long runway with about 9.5 years of left on our lease. We’re now down to 6.5 and so I do feel very much have a sense of urgency and we will approach it from a broader perspective going forward because time is short for us at this point. And so we need to see what other options are out there for us.

“It’s a special place for our fan base. And I believe it could be a special place for our fan base for another 25 years with the right renovation. But we’re just going to have to be open-minded in how we approach this. And that may involve a new stadium and it could be an open-air stadium or it could be a dome stadium.”

The Chiefs are also already renovating Arrowhead in anticipation of the 2026 FIFA World Cup as they look to sure up future stadium plans.

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“We just need to work as quickly as possible. And you know, that’s not something that happens in weeks, it’s months and years to find the right solution.

“We do have a lot of work that we have to get done over the next two years to make sure that we can host the games and really make sure that Kansas City is regarded as one of the best World Cup sites when the current tournament comes to the US and 2026. So we have a lot to work on and think about there and that process is already underway.”

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