KANSAS CITY, Mo, — The price tag for building that new women’s pro soccer stadium is going up — and by a lot.
Kansas City Current team ownership is now asking for Missouri tax incentives. Originally, franchise owners said they would privately pay for the costs in their entirety. Current leaders confirmed for FOX4 the stadium bill is going up by nearly $50 million — from roughly $70 million to approximately $117 million.
Current team owners Chris and Angie Long say they’re seeking $6 million in support from the state.
Kansas City Fourth District Councilmember Eric Bunch said he isn’t concerned that Current owners are asking for tax breaks. Bunch in sponsoring a city ordinance supporting the Current’s plan, encouraging the Missouri Development Finance Board to give them the incentives.
“I think the general public, if they understood this is the state stepping in and using state tax dollars indirectly to support a project that’s going to benefit Kansas Citians, I think they absolutely would,” Bunch told FOX4.
The Current plans to build that pitch on a plot of land near Berkley Riverfront Park near Port KC. The Long Family sent a statement to FOX4 saying they’re still handing the biggest portion of the stadium bill.
“As we have gotten into this project, our vision for this team and our vision of what this stadium can mean for our city and for women’s sports everywhere has grown,” The Long said, via email.
“I supported this project because I want to see it happen. I believe in what the end result is going to be. It’s elevating women’s professional sports. It’s elevating Kansas City,” Bunch said.
People around town have mixed ideas about public money being earmarked for another pro sports franchise in Missouri. Arrowhead Stadium and Kauffman Stadium, homes of the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals respectively, are also taxpayer supported, albeit from different budgetary ources.
“I think it’s worth spending whatever the cost. I think it’s something that will bring more people and tourists to Kansas City and help the city grow,” Caitlin Warren, a soccer fan from Kansas City, said.
“While I’m happy to pay my share, I don’t feel extracurricular things that are for entertainment or sports and leisure — I love sports, but for it to come out of my pocket, I’m not really happy with that,” Stephanie Dilley, a taxpayer from Independence, Missouri, said.
Councilmember Bunch pointed out $6 million isn’t the high price it may seem, since the Royals and Chiefs would likely ask for more for their potential new homes.