Archive for Wednesday, January 24, 2007

City throws flag on move to Arrowhead

Commission: Relocating home football game means Lawrence loses

January 24, 2007


Count Lawrence city commissioners among those unhappy about Kansas University's decision to move its home football game against Missouri to Arrowhead Stadium.

Commissioners unanimously agreed to send a letter to the Kansas University athletic department expressing displeasure about this year's game leaving KU's Memorial Stadium.

"I think it is something that has created a lot of angst," Commissioner Sue Hack said. "I don't think that is the direction we're trying to go in our town-gown relationship."

Mayor Mike Amyx at the end of Tuesday's meeting suggested writing the letter. He said he thought the timing of the decision was horrible because the game is scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend.

"This is the busiest shopping weekend of the year, and we're asking people who normally would be in downtown Lawrence or other parts of the community to go out of town," Amyx said.

Commissioner Mike Rundle said he also was disappointed by the decision. He said he recognized the importance of KU to the community but said it needed to be remembered that it was a "mutual relationship."

"I think we could think of many city services that the university enjoys as well," Rundle said.

Amyx said he had met with members of the KU athletic department and was assured by its leaders that it was a tough decision to pull the game from Lawrence.

KU leaders on Monday announced that the 2007 game, a KU home game, and the 2008 game, a Missouri home game, will be played at Arrowhead in Kansas City, Mo. The deal guarantees each school a $1 million payout for each of the two games.

"I think we have to say something about this," Amyx said. "I think this is a huge loss to the community. This idea just didn't work for me at all. I think tradition is worth a million bucks."

Amyx said he plans to send the letter this week.


Rick Aldrich 11 years, 1 month ago

the untold part of this story is that we get 2 chiefs games at memorial stadium. rock chalk chiefs.

Steve Jacob 11 years, 1 month ago

Um, KU basketball plays a game a year in KC, what's the big deal?

gohawks3 11 years, 1 month ago

These people need to get a grip. The one thing that's being overlooked here is the student athletes. Ask them where they want to play the game.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 1 month ago

"Um, KU basketball plays a game a year in KC, what's the big deal?"

There are at least three times as many home BB games as there are home football games.

bmwjhawk 11 years, 1 month ago

Football: 7-8 home gamesl. 50,000 attendees each. That's 15% of your game watchers out of town.

Basketball: 20-25 home games. 16,000 attendees each. That's 5% of your game watchers out of town.

skinny 11 years, 1 month ago

It's a done deal, the contract is already signed, get over it!!!

KU is going to make money on the deal and the City of Lawrence is crying.

Hopefully they do the next two games after that at Arrowhead Stadium too!!

I think it is funny.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 1 month ago

"Ask them where they want to play the game."

Do you seriously think that KU Athletics asked them before making this decision?

Angel Gillaspie 11 years, 1 month ago

I am surprised that no one has mentioned what the State of Kansas is losing on this deal - Arrowhead is in Kansas City, MISSOURI. That means that MISSOURI will benefit from both games because they will collect STATE taxes on the deal. Kansas will lose out on all that revenue. Plus, they are giving Chiefs season ticket holders first dibs on tickets - what about the loyal Jayhawk and Tiger football season ticket holders? Are they completely left out in the cold? It is a matter of thousands of dollars of local support being handed to the metropolitan Kansas City area, which takes away from local Lawrence and Columbia businesses. Besides, it's COLLEGE football, which should be played in a COLLEGE setting. I think it's just a load of bunk, myself. I am interested to see how the city of Columbia is reacting to this decision.

dirkleisure 11 years, 1 month ago

agilla - check out these paragraphs from this morning's Kansas City Star. If the city commission really wants to go after KU, they should make similar calculations:

Jackson County officials this week were cheering the news that the universities of Missouri and Kansas had agreed to move their gridiron battle to Arrowhead Stadium for the next two years. That's because the games will more than make up for a $500,000-plus hit that Missouri, Jackson County and Kansas City are going to take for losing a Chiefs home game.

Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders and Legislative Chairman Dan Tarwater applauded the Chiefs for fulfilling Hunt's vow and working with the county to make up for the loss of revenue. Tarwater said the games will provide a much-needed boost in revenue when the county is facing major budget cuts. (MU-KU game is county's windfall)

Thank goodness we are going to save Jackson County, MO from having to make budget cuts!

gohawks3 11 years, 1 month ago

"Do you seriously think that KU Athletics asked them before making this decision?"

Yes - I knew several players on some of the older teams and the coaches asked the players what they thought of the opportunity. This deal has been going on for several years and they finally inked it. Don't think for once that the players never voiced their opinion on playing in a NFL venue.

This isn't entirely about $$$ for the program, but it is for someone around here...

conservative 11 years, 1 month ago

"Um, KU basketball plays a game a year in KC, what's the big deal?"

In addition to the other responses to this, the difference is that the B-ball game is non-conference and happens during the holiday break when it is harder to get full attendance in Lawrence.

This football game is one of the ones where you know the stands are going to be full.

budwhysir 11 years, 1 month ago

so the city has a say in what a private university does? if ku didnt want to listen to the people who pay to see this game, why would they listen to the city????????????

lunacydetector 11 years, 1 month ago

the city needs to charge a visitor tax for all the students that move here to attend KU (in order to cover all the infrastructure costs -like road repairs etc.) OR the city could set up toll booths for any exiting students who want to use our roads.

topflight 11 years, 1 month ago

The commissioners and their stupid letters. These guys drive me nuts. Take your letter and stick it somewhere.

bearded_gnome 11 years, 1 month ago

being in MO, will they rename a road/highway to honor a MO coach who absolutely hates KU?

how much dif do they think this letter is going to do?

Adrienne Sanders 11 years, 1 month ago

You know what's awesome? I won't have to put up with all the students running around drunk in my neighborhood, all the out-of-towners driving the wrong way down Tennessee St., etc. Yay.

budwhysir 11 years, 1 month ago

origianl bob, you mean that the university is actualy ran by the city commisioners????????????????

Maybe private wasnt the right phrase to use.

gohawks3 11 years, 1 month ago

"Certainly it's not your contention that had the players been against it, Perkins would have said no?"

Not at all what I'm saying...I'm saying it probably contributed alot to the decision to move the game location. But then again, who cares about the players?


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 1 month ago

"I'm saying it probably contributed alot to the decision to move the game location."

I'd say they probably weren't even consulted.

countrygirl 11 years, 1 month ago

Anybody stop to think that this may be the only chance that many of the player ever get to play in an NFL venue?

budwhysir 11 years, 1 month ago


As I said, think i typed the wrong phrase there, please forgive me. My point is, I think the commisioners have bigger things in the works, this boils down to the money they will loose in revenues if this game moves. Why dont they go ahead and say whats on thier mind.

Anyhow, Ive been here for a long time and completly understand that the university is not private, that was just a typo. What I should have said is the university is not ran by the city commisioners. Im sure you would agree with this point

Tom McCune 11 years, 1 month ago

Could they move all the KU games to Arrowhead? That would be great. Game days are a pain in the backside.

There's no such thing as a "scholar/athlete" at this level any more. These are professional minor league sports franchises and, as such, they might as well play in a professional venue with comfortable seats.

drewdun 11 years ago

Newell: right on, regarding the semi-pro feel of modern college athletics.

However, I must disagree with your sentiment regarding moving the games. I love the Hawks, especially the football team, but people like Lew are taking it too far. This move is about money, plain and simple. The 'arms race' in the NCAA, especially in DI football, has corrupted everyone who has touched it, including even our own Chancellor Hemenway. Traditions, the students, and the university as a whole seem to have taken a backseat to almighty profit. In my opinion, that's sad, but going back to a purely amateur athletics program now would be impossible. That being said, there has to be a middle ground somewhere between Chiefs-lite and AAU.

Tony Kisner 11 years ago

The city should review the impact to the neighborhood when they flip on the lights at Memorial. - I don't think Lew lives anywhere near Mississipi Street.

Does the City have any additional expenditures in case of fire on campus? - I don't think KUAC has a firedepartment. - Who pays the bill when a football player wants to beat up a a taco seller?

A possible solution for Lew's money issue is to have casino gambling at Allen on off nigths. Maybe even have the cheerleaders provide lab dances during half time. Lew said we need to be more open to new ideas, while drinking from his PIMP cup he needs to really open up to new ideas.

My money on my mind and my mind on my money.

budwhysir 11 years ago

Maybe the commisioners could arange for KU to get 1 million per game if we keep it in town

Tom McCune 11 years ago

I actually think it is sort of OK for public universities to operate professional minor league sports franchises. Universities operate all kinds of other "side businesses" such as consulting, government contracts, etc. to help make the nut. Why not minor league sports? OK with me provided they actually run it on a strict profit-and-loss basis and drop the all the Victorian "win one for the Gipper scholar-athlete" romantic silliness.

I wonder how much money football has REALLY brought into KU's coffers net of ALL REAL expenses?

I must admit that I don't keep up on their finances. Although many years ago, I played in the marching band when I was a KU student. At that time (the late Jurassic) football got quite a bit of money from the "student activity fee" of whatever they called it. That seemed like a big ripoff to me. Lots of students didn't give a rip about football and never went, but they paid anyway. Others like me were minor parts of the spectacle. We didn't have to buy tickets, but our activity fee still went to football instead of things we would have actually found more interesting. They should have paid me to sit on those splintered wood benches in the freezing sleet with a brass mouthpiece to my lips (instead of a nice warm beer like all other civilized persons).

Do they REALLY run football on a true profit-and-loss basis, or are there lots of hidden subsidies up and down the line?

Well.... I guess they did replace the splintered wood benches with nice soft, warm aluminum.

Sigmund 11 years ago

I can't think of any other town that gets more incoming taxpayer dollars than Lawrence. A portion of every citizen of Kansas that pays taxes flows to the University of Kansas and eventually makes it into the Lawrence economy. That does not even begin to count the parents who send money to their kids here nor the Federal Student Loan dollars that come here. It is safe to say that without KU, Lawrence would have dried up and blown away decades ago.

And now that KU has a chance to bring in a few more bucks by scheduling two games over two years in KC, you all act as if it is the end of the world and that KU owes YOU something! Absolutely hysterical! Hopefully the additional dollars KU makes will help reduce the tax burden of all the taxpayers of Kansas.

Sigmund 11 years ago

I hope the people who believe that "KU is OUR University and Mass St is OUR downtown" wake up to reality. Unless you own property downtown or are on the Board of Regents, no they are not.

And if I remember correctly, just because you lived in Kansas all your life and paid taxes every single year, you don't even have a right to send your kids to school at KU!

In fact the only sense I can think off that either of them is yours is you have a right to pay taxes to subsidize them both!

Sigmund 11 years ago

If KU up and moved Lawrence would all the affordable housing it could handle!

budwhysir 11 years ago

5 yard penalty, too many players on the field.

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