Royals Owner Sherman Considers Resuming NKC Stadium Negotiations Amidst Fight to Keep Negotiations Secret?

  Push for Royals Stadium Negotiations Despite Voter's Wrath

With Jackson County voters giving a resounding "no" to a 40-year, 3/8 cent sales tax for a downtown baseball stadium, the Royals are now casting their gaze toward Clay County. And why wouldn't they? After all, with no election opposition in sight, Clay County Commissioners can advocate for a new stadium to their heart's content without fearing the wrath of voters.

In January 24, a certain Clay County Commissioner with an aversion to a certain lil rock, announced that it was ending the Royals negotiations amidst taxpayer pushback. But Royals Representative Mike Nichols stated that "basically the Royals see the negotiations as being on hold" rather than being ended. A letter from Brooks Sherman himself to Clay County administrator Diana Wright stated that "the Royals consider our negotiations with Clay County MO, to be on hold while we work through a competing opportunity in Jackson County." In the same letter, Sherman asked that Clay County "keep records closed" until everything concludes. Apparently, the Estimate from J.E. Dunn calls for construction that runs to the tune of $484 Million that Royals owner Sherman no, doubt expects Clay County taxpayers to shoulder a large burden of. Is that what Sherman is hiding?

Sources close to the negotiations reveal that the Clay Commissioners are prepared to go to great lengths to secure a deal, including offering the Royals free barbecue for life and unlimited access to the world's largest ball of twine (located conveniently just outside of Excelsior Springs). Apparently, the Royals were to be offered a 75% tax abatement by NKC while Clay County would levy a 5/8 cent sales tax for the next 40 years. Among the more egregious, was this; The Royals would pay rent of $3.5 million per year but the Royals are to be paid a management fee of $2 million dollars per year and the premises would be under the exclusive management and control of the Royals.

Now Clay County did demand something, in return the negotiations were put on "hold". Clay County politely asked that The Royals establish a revenue stream from the stadium to provide financial assistance to the county for its needs, potentially through ticket fees or CID sales tax, aiming to generate around $4 million in the first year. The county will receive 100% of its sales tax from the ballpark and its development district. Savings from the ballpark construction will be shared among funding sources based on their percentage of the original budget. Will Sherman be able to swallow this?

Now a certain Commissioner Johnson Walker, (Not his real name but let's be real, I think we know who), once stated, "I'd love to see the Kansas City Royals build a new stadium along the Clay County riverfront. We believe that bringing the Royals to Clay County would be a tremendous boost to our economy and our sense of self-worth!" Although he would probably not want to be reminded of this, the commissioner was once the biggest cheerleader for the NKC stadium and has taken a dim view in the past of those who disagreed, this lil pontificating rock included.

However, not everyone is thrilled about the prospect of a new stadium. Self-proclaimed expert on all things baseball-related, Barry "The Rock" Hardball, has been relentless in his opposition. In his latest FB titled "Royals Stadium: A Taxpayer's Guide to Wasting Money," Hardball argues that the money would be better spent on something more practical, like giant inflatable squirrels for every household. Mindy Hart, NKC business owner has raised concerns about how changes in original development plans for parking structures have negatively affected businesses' parking availability. The issue of inadequate parking has prompted residents to seek alternatives and take matters into their own hands.

Despite the backlash, Commissioner Withington confirmed that Clay County has not reached out to the Royals at this time, stating "Clay County hasn't spoken to the Royals since December and no one from the County has reached out to the team since the election this past Tuesday.," "I'm really proud of our county's negotiating team standing firm to the Kansas City Royals request." As negotiations heat up, one thing is for certain: Clay County is in for a wild ride. Whether they'll end up with a shiny new stadium or just a lot of angry blog posts remains to be seen. Stay tuned for updates, and don't forget to bring your own baseball. Likewise, another commissioner also stated she was under the impression that negotiations with the Royals were concluded.

Special thanks to   at the Show Me Institute who obtained the records. The results of the sunshine request can be found here:

By Josiah Bechthold

By Josiah Bechthold