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Missouri, Kansas close in on tug of war for Chiefs, Royals

A border war might determine the future home of the Chiefs, and the Royals.

As explained by John Hanna of the Associated Press, an age-old rivalry between Missouri and Kansas could become the battleground in a tug-of-war for Kansas City’s NFL and MLB teams.

The Kansas legislature starts a special session on Tuesday. They hope to issue bonds that would be paid off with money from sports betting, the Kansas Lottery, and tax dollars generated in and around the new venues.

The emerging competition, sparked by April’s failure of a ballot measure to extend a sales tax in Jackson County, Missouri that would have paid for a new baseball stadium and a renovated football stadium, will work to the benefit of the two teams. Absent the state-vs.-state dynamic, the teams might have to leave the area to get the free money they want for new stadiums. This allows them to not relocate.

The effort could break an “uneasy truce” (as described by Hanna) that was reached in 2019, after Missouri and Kansas spent “hundreds of millions” to attract businesses to one state or the other.

The Chiefs have a lease at Arrowhead Stadium that runs through 2030. Nothing stops them from striking a deal to cross the border as of 2031.

Whether it’s a good expenditure of taxpayer money doesn’t matter. If Missouri and Kansas end up competing for the Chiefs (and/or the Royals), the teams will end up winning. Either way, they’ll get a sweetheart deal. The only question is on which side of the border they’ll be playing their games.