A timeline of the Chiefs, Royals, and Jackson County stadium drama

The months-long saga involving pro sports, county government, taxes, and a controversial new stadium has come to a head.

Chiefs Game KCtoday

Welcome to the Red Kingdom.

Well, they really threw us a curve ball today.

After multiple potential Royals ballpark sites, a stadium sales tax extension request, offers for the teams to move elsewhere, Jackson County legislature delays, a joint statement, and approval of the ordinance for the April ballot... the will-they-or-won’t-they saga seemed to culminate today with a signed agreement committing the teams to KCMO.

But then — Jackson County Executive Frank White vetoed the ordinance, and now we’re back to first base.

The Timeline

Nov. 15, 2022 | Royals owner John Sherman penned a letter to fans telling them their days at the K were numbered. By the end of its lease in 2031, Kaufman Stadium would be 60 years old. Since renovations wouldn’t cut it, “a new home would be a far better investment.”

Aug. 22, 2023 | House Hunters: Ballpark — The Royals released renderings of their top two locations: North Kansas City + the East Village. While waiting for the final word, our readers overwhelming wanted the latter.

Nov. 17, 2023 | Radio silence. The season ends without a word. Then a dark horse appears — a third, previously-considered site reemerges: the former KC Star Printing Pavilion in the Crossroads Arts District.

Dec. 12, 2023 | Jackson County Legislator Manny Abarca held a town hall to discuss the future of the Chiefs + Royals. Long story short , the teams will likely leave if we don’t give them what they want.

Dec. 14, 2023 | Jackson County Chair Daron McGee proposed an extension of the existing 3/8-cent stadium sales tax for the April ballot. Voters would get to decide to fund the new stadium + renovations for another 40 years.

Jan. 5, 2024 | More silence,then a statement. The Chiefs + Royals shared a post stating their desire to stay in KC and what benefits supporting the tax extension would bring to voters. They’ll stay, but only if it passes.

Jan. 8, 2024 | The county concedes — the tax extension made it to the ballot with an 8-1 vote, and without a signed lease from any party.

Jan. 18, 2024 | This was yesterday. Jackson County Executive Frank White vetoed the ordinance, citing “no clear understanding or assurance regarding the teams’ commitments and contributions to the county.”

What now?

The deal isn’t totally off the table. Six legislators can vote to overturn White’s veto, though four of the nine members have already sided with White.

The Chiefs + Royals better pray for a Hail Mary play — the last day to put anything on the ballot is next Thursday, Jan. 23.