Campaign for new downtown KC stadium could be led by fans, not politicians

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There’s an obscure, citizen-led mechanism that could pave the way for the long-debated downtown stadium for the Kansas City Royals (and possibly the Chiefs).

With a new owner in place for the Royals, discussion of a downtown stadium is heating up once again.

Although there seems to be little appetite among local leaders to make a downtown stadium a top priority, there is one mechanism to bankroll a project that could be spearheaded by taxpayers and fans.

“Turns out, if you wanted to do it by sales tax, there’s a group already in place that could handle it and already has authorization to go to voters,” said Dave Helling, a KC Star columnist and FOX4 contributor.

In an editorial this week, Helling explained a process using the little-known Bistate Commission.

It’s a taxing entity that allows voters in both Johnson County, Kansas, and Jackson County, Missouri, to gather petition signatures that could put a sales tax issue before voters on both sides of the state line.

“If you really wanted to do it, there is a way that you might do it,” Helling said. “Now whether it will happen or not is another huge question, but the mechanism is there.”

The last major project supported by a sales tax through the Bistate Commission involved renovations to Union Station.

Helling concedes the method is a long shot, but it would effectively remove politics from the public debate over building a new stadium.

He estimates a quarter-cent sales tax, over 30 years, could generate $1.5 billion.

“It’s a heavy lift, but it isn’t impossible. It isn’t completely out of the question that this could be at least on some people’s agenda going forward,” he said.

Oklahoma High School Scores



More News