KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jackson County has formed a Stadium Improvements Committee to figure out how the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals can both move forward in the county.

That committee met for the first time Wednesday afternoon at the Jackson County Courthouse.

Jackson County Legislators Donna Peyton, Sean Smith and Megan Marshall are on this committee. Manny Abarca is the chairman. During the public portion of Wednesday’s meeting, Marshall asked if County Executive Frank White was invited to the meeting.

“That is not the normal process,” Abarca replied.

“Well, I understand that, but I just said, ‘This is not normal,'” Marshall said.

“It’s as normal as the Homelessness and Housing Scenario,” Abarca replied.

“No, I beg to differ Mr. Chair. This deal has implication,” Marshall said back.

“And Vice Chair, that is subject for your opinion,” Abarca said. “So, we’ll move on from here unless you have anything else. I think you’re reiterating the same points.”

“Very well, I think I’ve made my point,” she replied.

About four minutes after that exchange, Abarca called for his group to go into closed session. Their meeting lasted more than an hour and a half.

“The short answer is that it was great that the County Executive was able to join us,” Smith said after the closed-door meeting. “I think we’re pulling together as a team to try to come to whatever the best resolution is in all this, a great deal for the taxpayers and keeping things strong for the community.”

Another one of the people in that meeting was Herb Hardwick of the Hardwick Law Firm. Jackson County hired Hardwick in September to provide specialized legal services with the county when it comes to their relationship with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals.

“Fine, fine,” Hardwick said when asked how the stadium process was going, walking away from FOX4.

“I really cannot comment. Thank you,” Hardwick said when asked if it’s challenging to renegotiate if the teams are on separate sales tax lengths.

County leaders have previously said the Royals are looking for a 40-year sales tax extension while the Chiefs are more interested in a 25 year extension.

The Royals still would like voters in either Jackson or Clay County to vote on this issue in April 2024, but they still haven’t picked where they’d like to build their new site. The Chiefs also appear to be on board with an April vote.