What’s Next? Extension of stadium sales tax fails in Jackson County

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The special election results are in, and the answer to Question 1 is no.

So, where do the franchises go from here?

With the available information, more than 134,000 people voted in this special election.
58% of them – more than 78,000 – said no. The results were in by 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Election results: Jackson County stadium sales tax headlines Kansas City-area races

Kansas City Royals owner John Sherman and Chiefs president Mark Donovan addressed the crowd at a watch party.

They thanked those who helped their cause and expressed disappointment in the results. They did not answer any questions.

But some questions remain. What happens next? Where will the Royals and Chiefs play games after 2030? Will Jackson County get a better deal?

Last month, the Chiefs President warned that the team could leave Arrowhead and Kansas City behind if Question 1 failed.

“We’re disappointed. We feel we’ve put forth the best offer for Jackson County. We were ready to extend the long-standing partnership with the teams that have joined with this county,” Donavan said.

Extension of stadium sales tax fails for Chiefs, Royals in Jackson County

“We will do and look to do what is in the best interest of our fans and our organization as we move forward.”

The current lease at the Truman Sports Complex lasts through Jan. 31, 2031, and the teams could extend their time there with two five-year terms.

County legislator Manny Abarca said he doesn’t believe a better deal is on the table for Jackson County.

And time is ticking on fans enjoying baseball at The K.

“The administration has made it clear that after 2030 there will be no more games played at Kauffman so the reality of saving the K, I don’t think, exists,” Abarca said.

“There was no room in this scenario for some of the things that were needed to get the people to move from no to yes. And so, at some level, we have to make decisions as voters about what we want to invest in and what we don’t.”

Mayor Lucas commented on social media after the results came in and replied to some who expressed that the teams could leave Jackson County.

“The people spoke,” Lucas said in one reply. “They want a better deal and we will work for it. But I can’t stop other jurisdictions from a bad one.”

What happens next is both sides regroup and prepare for this train ride again. It is a matter of when. That could be in the next few months or the next few years.

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