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Archive for Saturday, December 1, 2001

Chiefs, Royals toss in $50 million for upgrading KC sports complex

December 1, 2001

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— Kansas City Chiefs and Royals owners pledged $50 million on Friday for a proposed Truman Sports Complex renovation that would also be financed with state and local money.

Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt and Royals owner David Glass had said earlier they would extend their leases at the complex through 2027 if other parties paid for the modernization.

"We need to find ways to grow our revenue," Glass said. "One way to grow revenue is to make Kauffman Stadium comparable to other new stadiums."

Renovations for Arrowhead and Kauffman stadiums would cost $300 million and were proposed Friday as part of a larger Kansas City urban plan. plan.

Mayor Kay Barnes said meeting all of her aims for the city would cost $1.8 billion dollars, largely in private funds, but she hoped the state would contribute $225 million.

Her plan, which was short on specifics, includes a new downtown arena, an aquarium and a performing arts center. Civic leaders said they envisioned an 18,000- to 20,000-seat arena, which would make money despite having no major indoor sports tenant.

Sen. Harry Wiggins, D-Kansas City, said he had filed legislation Friday providing the state's share of the stadium renovation $100 million in 30-year bonds.

Kansas City-area voters on both sides of the state line would provide the remaining $150 million by extending a one-eighth-cent sales tax next November.

Kansas City's proposal comes five months after the St. Louis Cardinals, Gov. Bob Holden and St. Louis-area officials agreed on a $646 million development plan for that city.

Both cities' proposals still require approval of the Legislature, which faces a tight budget.

Glass said he remains optimistic that lawmakers can find money to renovate Truman. Although Barnes spoke of the stadium renovation and downtown development as a package, Wiggins and Glass said they'd prefer that Truman make its way through the Statehouse alone.

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