KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jackson County has counteroffered another way the Kansas City Royals could help fund their new stadium, according to the Kansas City Business Journal.
Under the proposal, the county would pay $15 million a year for 20 years, which would add up to $300 million.
“Well, I don’t want to get into the real specifics of the negotiations. That what we gave to the legislature was for confidentiality reasons, and so I don’t want to get in and try to break it down at this point,” Democratic Jackson County Executive Frank White said in an interview with FOX4 Monday.
White said he does not know all the different ways you can fund stadiums.
“In our estimation, we’re sales tax-based, so if there is another way that we could do it without including a sales tax, we would definitely like to look at that,” he said.
White also believes the counteroffer was leaked by someone on the legislature.
“I can’t speak for a legislator who wants to hold press conferences on the front step and talk about how they want to be involved,” he said.
“The administration, we’re negotiators. We keep them up to date, and we hope they keep this information confidential until the right time to let it out, but obviously that didn’t happen in this point.”
White didn’t name any names, but on Oct. 10, Democratic Legislator Manny Abarca spoke to FOX4 about how he felt White’s office was withholding information from them.
“That’s very interesting because where would the previous leak come from if that were the case?” Abarca said Monday in response to White’s comments.
“So I don’t know what he’s referring to in a press conference out front. I’m guessing it’s our conversations. The reality is this is a joint process. There’s not one negotiator here. It requires engagement at all levels of that process, and I think that’s what we’re elected to do.”
The Royals are down to two sites for their new stadium. One is the East Village near 12th and Cherry streets within the downtown loop. They’ve also said they’re considering building their new ballpark district near 18th and Fayette in North Kansas City, outside of Jackson County.
“Well, it has nothing do with the administration,” White said when asked if the dysfunction between the executive and the legislature could lead to the Royals leaving the county.
“We know what we’re doing. We’re the negotiators. They’re the ones who at the end would have to pass this and put it on the ballot, but everything has its place.
“You can’t make the sausage and eat it at the same time, and you can’t have a negotiation, and then at the end of that day put it out publicly what you’re negotiating on. You’ve got to have good faith on this thing.”
A spokesperson for the Royals told FOX4 this is just a “leaked snapshot in the early innings of the process.”