Kansas University officials finally have fessed up that they are studying or negotiating a renewed deal to play the annual Kansas-Missouri football game in Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium.
The original plan called for two games to be played in the Kansas City venue; one Kansas University "home" game would be taken off Mount Oread, and one Missouri University "home" game would be moved to Kansas City.
This fall's game in Arrowhead is officially the MU "home" game and concludes the two-year deal.
Last year's game generated mixed reviews, most of them negative. Many of those who went to the game said "never again." As would be expected, Lawrence merchants didn't like losing the potential for thousands of shoppers in town for the game and the city suffered an accompanying loss of sales tax revenue. Those who attended the Arrowhead game complained about the seat locations, and there were many other negatives.
Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said he didn't favor continuing the Arrowhead site for the traditional game but acknowledged he really didn't have much of a voice in the matter, saying his athletic director and school president would call the shots.
KU coach Mark Mangino didn't say whether he liked or disliked the Arrowhead location, knowing full well his boss, KU Athletic Director Lew Perkins, and KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway favored the move to Kansas City.
In fact, tradition, keeping a college game on a college campus, making it easier for Kansans to get to the game and many other sound advantages to keeping the game in Lawrence were trumped by the focus of Hemenway and Perkins on the dollar. Money calls the shots in a growing number of KU decisions, and loyalty to long-time fans doesn't mean much these days at the university.
Over the years, it has been KU officials who have joined hands with Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City Chiefs officials, and others, to get the KU-MU game to Arrowhead. MU officials have said they would give serious consideration to playing the game in Kansas City IF it was the KU home game. They did not favor moving the MU home game out of Columbia.
It's clear KU officials are interested in where they can make the most money. They claim they want to give KU alumni living in greater Kansas City a chance to see the Jayhawks in action.
This is a weak excuse when the real reason is that Hemenway and Perkins want to impress major K.C. interests and business leaders and make a few more dollars. Apparently, there is little concern about being bought by Kansas City interests.