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A Debriefing on the April 2nd Vote...

The April 2nd vote to extend the 3/8th sales tax for stadium and sports franchise funding has come and gone, with no being the vote Jackson County officially chose. In a landslide victory, the No vote tallied 78,352 (58.1%), while the Yes vote tallied 56,606 (41.9%). Some feel slighted, some overjoyed, but many are skeptical of the things to come, so let me give you my dissertation on the matter...

Why This Vote is Not the End for Either Side

Many on the yes side have already thrown in the towel, saying that the Royals and/or the Chiefs will be moving out of Jackson County within the foreseeable future because this vote failed. Keep in mind the lease for both teams where they are currently is not up until 2030, giving them about 7 years to find a solution. The teams have time to work out a more appealing and complete deal, as the Jackson County voters felt like they should do. This is not the end of the campaign to keep the Royals and Chiefs in Jackson County, far from it to be frank. Many on the no side also are getting complacent though, saying that they've "saved their community" or that they've "saved KC arts and culture" by striking down this vote and "sticking it to billionaires". This is simply not the case either, these teams will get what they want whether you like it or not, even if they have to raise taxes or demolish a few unused buildings. That being said, this was a win for them. They did not feel like the plan that was laid out in front of them was complete or appealing enough for them, so they forced the Royals and Chiefs administration back toward the drawing board, which leads me to my next point...

Jackson County Voters are NOT to Blame

Anyone who rips Jackson County voters, whether they voted yes or no, is in the wrong here. These people participated in their civic duty and democracy, and in the end, they voted for what they thought was best for their community. Those who did NOT think of what was best for the community they are a part of and who will have to think of something more suitable are the teams that brought the proposition forward in the first place, i.e. the Royals and Chiefs administration. Chiefs President Mark Donovan can say all the empty threats he wants (in the end it's Clark Hunt's decision) and can lie about how this was "the Chiefs' best foot forward" (it clearly wasn't, and it doesn't take a genius to figure that out) but in the end, the Royals and Chiefs have no one to blame but themselves for the failure of this vote. The plan was incomplete, half-baked, and did not have the community that it would impact in mind. Unless their intent is moving cities, which would cost far more than renovating/building a new stadium in the KC metro area, just ask Rams' owner Stan Kroenke or Chargers owner Dean Spanos, then the Royals and Chiefs must listen to community voices, and figure out a plan that both the community and teams can buy into, not one or the other. Plain and simple, the community spoke, and now the teams need to listen.

What Happens Now?

Simply put, it's in the hands of the team administrations. Wyandotte and Johnson County in Kansas are both heavily vying for one or both teams to come over to the Kansas side, and both have plenty of pull. Legalized sports betting, plenty of space, a growing, thriving community, and still in the Kansas City area, making it enticing for both teams especially now that the no vote has passed. I know that I said in the first paragraph that the fight was not over, but the team owners could very well just take their ball and go to the Kansas side without coming to the negotiating table with Jackson County. I don't see them moving completely out of the Kansas City area, as I stated before that would be very, very expensive and perhaps even out of reach for Clark Hunt and John Sherman's pocketbooks. Keep in mind that Stan Kroenke ($16.2 billion net worth) has more money than Hunt ($2 billion) and Sherman (Roughly $1 billion) which is why he had that buying power, and it was still incredibly hard for him to move the Rams. Hunt and Sherman do not have that luxury, but the possibility is still there I suppose. It would be incredibly foolish though given Kansas City quickly becoming one of the biggest sports cities in America, not just because of the Chiefs too for that matter. The Kansas City Sports Commission has done so much for this community and will in all likelihood fight alongside the community for the Chiefs and Royals to stay should they threaten to move. It is encouraging to see both franchises come together with the Crossroads Community Association to work out a deal regarding, at the very least, something with the Royals' ballpark plans. That shows that they're willing to work with the community. We can only hope that stays true even after this vote. In the end, though, there's still 7 years to work this out. If the Royals and Chiefs simply listen to the community there's definitely a way to get something down to where both sides get what they want out of this, something that could not have been said regarding the original plan that was struck down yesterday. Time can only tell...

Burn Notice: 10/10 Scorching Hot Debate!

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