Chiefs president says 'leaving Kansas City' is an 'option' amid stadium tax vote


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Residents of Kansas City will be voting on whether to repeal a current sales tax that could heavily influence the future of the Chiefs and Royals in the city.

The Chiefs are in the midst of a dynasty, winning their third Super Bowl in the last five seasons a month ago — but team president Mark Donovan admits that dynasty could move.

The city’s vote is set to take place April 2, when residents will vote to keep the current tax bill or bring in a new one that both the Chiefs and Royals will use for stadium purposes.

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Tomahawk chop

Kansas City Chiefs fans cheer on their team during a game against the Buffalo Bills at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, on Oct. 16, 2022. (Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Chiefs are aiming to overhaul Arrowhead Stadium with renovations that cost $800 million, while the Royals have announced plans to move out of Kauffman Stadium and into the downtown area of the city by the 2031 season (when the current tax deal expires, and as their current lease ends in 2030).

If voters vote to repeal the current tax and replace it with the new proposal, which will last 40 years, the Chiefs and Royals have agreed to sign leases that will keep them in the city throughout the duration of the new tax law.

However, both teams have been mostly silent on their futures if the current tax remains in place, leading to the opposition calling it a “fear-based campaign” — until now.

Patrick Mahomes playing softball

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes swings at a ball during the Big Slick celebrity softball game before the Kansas City Royals host the Chicago White Sox at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, on June 7, 2019. (Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

Donovan told KSHB-TV that the Chiefs’ “goal” is to stay in Kansas City, but that’s admittedly no guarantee.

“I just know that for us, the Chiefs, we have to look at all of our options.,” he said. 

When asked about possibly leaving Kansas City, Donovan said, “I think they would have to include leaving Kansas City.

“But our goal here is we want to stay here. And we’re willing to accept a deal, which is actually better for the country, to stay here.”

Those opposed to the bill have expressed concerns that the Chiefs’ renovations, and the Royals’ new stadium, would be detrimental to local businesses — even knocking some out of the area where the MLB team plans to build.

Donovan admitted that the new bill language is “confusing,” but deep down, “it’s really simple” and “a better deal.”

“These are not new taxes,” Donovan said (both bills produce a 3/8-cent tax), “and we keep both teams.”

Chiefs flag

A flag flies celebrating the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl LVII victory before the game against the Cleveland Browns at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, on Aug 26, 2023. (Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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Other cities, notably Las Vegas and Nashville, Tennessee, have long been potential expansion options for baseball. San Antonio has also been mentioned as a football destination.

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