Chiefs show they’re not above using scare tactics on fans for stadium tax vote. ttmd

It is listed as the last item on the ballot as Question 1.

And no, the measure asking Jackson County, Missouri, residents to support another stadium tax to help finance upgrades at Arrowhead Stadium and a new baseball stadium a few miles away is hardly the only question.

What if it fails when voters determine whether to approve the measure during a special election on Tuesday? Could it get to the point that the Kansas City Chiefs would consider moving?

“I’m not going to quantify it one way or another,” Chiefs owner Clark Hunt told USA TODAY Sports during the NFL meetings last week when asked whether leaving the market is an option.

How to watch the Chiefs-Dolphins playoff game | KCUR - Kansas City news and NPR

While Hunt maintained that he expects the measure will pass, the matter is seemingly too close to call. KSHB 41-TV, the NBC affiliate in Kansas City, recently cited polling from the Remington Research Group that had 47% of respondents in favor and 46% against.

That’s against the backdrop of recent comments from Chiefs president Mark Donovan, who said that while the goal is to stay put after its Arrowhead Stadium lease expires in 2031, the team would consider “all options” if the measure fails.

The option of leaving Arrowhead? Say it ain’t so. And not just because the Chiefs’ iconic home with the electric atmosphere also has the best aroma of any parking lot in the NFL for tailgating.

“I think Mark was just stating the obvious,” Hunt said. “If it doesn’t pass, we will have to consider our options.”

That sounds like some scare tactic of a threat.

“I don’t really think so,” Hunt countered. “I think it’s obvious that that’s what we’ll have to do, because we have a lease with seven years left on it. We have to figure out what the solution is, going forward.”

How about this as a solution: The Chiefs, who have committed $300 million to an $800 million makeover for Arrowhead, privately finance the rest of the cost rather than asking for more public funding that would come with a 40-year extension of a 3/8-cent sales tax.

Kansas City Chiefs fans react to their teams selection in the third round of the 2023 NFL draft at Union Station on April 28, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri.

It’s the principle. Upgrades at a renovated Arrowhead would include a new video board, more parking, enhanced suites and a covered fan zone at the site where Kaufmann Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals, currently sits. Profits flowing from the makeover (after a community benefits package pays out $3.5 million per year) would go to the Chiefs and one of the richest NFL billionaires.

Sure, it would be great for business to spruce up Arrowhead, allowing the Chiefs to command more for suites, parking, concessions and then some. Yet this looms as another case where taxpayers foot the bill for private profit. If there’s more tax money to be had, why not more funding for schools and other essentials that would benefit the public a lot more than a football team?

Frank White, the Royals legend who serves as Jackson County executive, has been a vocal critic of the measure that would extend the current sales tax, which projects to generate $2 billion.

“The county spends more money on the two sports teams every year than we do on our parks and playgrounds, public housing and roads and bridges – combined,” White said in a statement.

White tried to keep the measure off the ballot with a veto, contending that the process was rushed. But Jackson County legislators overruled, and the Chiefs and Royals have struck long-term lease agreements contingent on the passage of the ballot measure.

The next move rests with the voters.

Despite examples of privately financed NFL homes (SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, and Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts), the standard NFL playbook for such projects outside of California has been long-established. Typically, it’s a matter of finding (or wooing) the public money. Remember, the Raiders left Oakland for Las Vegas and the Chargers left San Diego for L.A. after efforts for new stadiums failed.

Leaving the Kansas City market? That would undoubtedly represent a nuclear option for the Chiefs. If the measure fails and the Chiefs were left to look for a new home, they might need only to move a few miles away to Kansas City, Kansas – where public funding could be waiting.

Stay tuned.

The drama surrounding the Chiefs since their latest Super Bowl triumph has come with such wide variety. The tragedy of a mass shooting at the end of the championship parade. The stunning decision by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson to commute the prison sentence for Britt Reid, son of Chiefs coach Andy Reid, for his drunken-driving conviction stemming from a 2021 crash that left a 5-year-old girl with severe brain injuries. The sudden saga of budding star Rashee Rice, whom Dallas police are searching for after an alleged hit-and-run incident over the weekend.

And now a different type of intrigue with the election, which has been building for weeks.

In the ads from what was reportedly a $3 million campaign blitz urging voters to support the measure, Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce are featured in the 15-second spots. Talk about using your star power.

The spot opens with Kelce imploring, “We need you!”

Other Chiefs and Royals players have similar pleas. Then Mahomes chimes in, “There’s no better place to play than Arrowhead Stadium.”

To which Kelce adds, “Let’s keep it that way.”

The marquee men from the Chiefs’ championship operation, who recently announced plans to open a restaurant in Kansas City, haven’t campaigned with any appearances on the ground, so to speak. But with three Super Bowl triumphs in five years, there are no better pitchmen (along with Andy Reid, also featured on the spot) to speak to the Chiefs fan base.

Will it help Question 1 pass?

That’s a question to be answered in the equation at the ballot box.

Related Posts

Bruins’ Jim Montgomery still not over Game 5 loss — ‘I don’t understand’

Game 6 goes Thursday night. The Boston Bruins had a pristine opportunity to once again eliminate the Toronto Maple Leafs in their Eastern Conference first-round series at TD Garden on Tuesday…

MLB rumors: Why a Mike Trout trade away from Angels is now close to impossible

If the Angels were ever going to trade Mike Trout, their window seems closed after the former MVP’s latest injury. While the Los Angeles Angels lost Shohei Ohtani in…

PHOTOS: Erik Spoelstra’s Ex-Wife Celebrated Miami Heat Playoff Loss With Sultry Thirst Traps In Her Tiny Black Bikini

Erik Spoelstra, Nikki Spoelstra (Photos via Getty Images and Nikki Spoelstra/Instagram) Erik Spoelstra has a lot of work to do if he hopes to have his Miami…

Los Angeles Lakers Superstar LeBron James Breaks His Silence On Reports That He’s Already Made A Decision On His Future

LeBron James (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James was quick to pour cold water over speculation that he has already decided on what he’ll do…

VIDEO: OKC Thunder Star Josh Giddey Gets Heckled By Fan Who Questions His Girl’s Age After They Were Spotted On Tulane Campus

Josh Giddey (Photo via Getty Images and Oldrowsports/Twitter) Unfortunately for Josh Giddey, he is unlikely to live down the situation he went through earlier this year.Josh Giddey…

BREAKING: NBA Announces Official Decision For Bronny James Ahead Of The Draft

Bronny James (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images) One of the most highly anticipated prospects in the country, Bronny James , committed to USC last year; however, he missed the first…