Archive for Saturday, January 28, 2006

Glass: Royals want to stay

Owner to mull ‘other options’ if tax denied

January 28, 2006

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— The owner of the Kansas City Royals said Friday the team would "look at other options" if a sales tax to raise money for renovating aging Kauffman Stadium was voted down.

David Glass, who purchased the team from the estate of the late Ewing Kauffman six years ago for $96 million, emphasized he wanted to keep the team in Kansas City. But in an interview prior to the annual Royals forecast luncheon, Glass declined an opportunity to state that relocating the franchise would be out of the question.

"If they decide no, we'll start looking at other options," said the former CEO of Wal-Mart.

Voters in Jackson County, Mo., will decide April 4 on a three-eighths- cent sales tax that over 25 years would generate about $425 million of the projected $575 million needed for upgrades to Arrowhead and Kauffman stadiums.

The Royals would chip in $25 million and the Chiefs $75 million. Missouri tax credits would add another $50 million.

The stadiums opened in the early 1970s, and while they have retained their eye appeal, both are badly in need of renovation. The teams have signed renewals on their leases that keep them here until Jan. 31, 2031, provided the improvements are made.

If improvements are not made, the Jackson County Sports Authority could be in violation of the present lease, and the teams could be free to leave as early as 2007.

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