Chiefs and Royals' Futures in Jackson County Uncertain After Stadium Vote Fails

Jackson County voters overwhelmingly rejected the Chiefs and Royals' sales tax vote on Tuesday
Jackson County voters overwhelmingly rejected the Chiefs and Royals' sales tax vote on Tuesday / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Jackson County voters in Kansas City overwhelmingly turned down Question 1 on Tuesday, a measure that would've used a sales tax extension to help move the Royals to a new stadium downtown and renovate GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.

"No" won the election by nearly 22,000 votes, a relative landslide given the expectations for a close result.

The Chiefs and Royals' current leases are up in 2031, though both teams' ownership groups have been explicit that they will explore all options moving forward.

Jackson County Overwhelmingly Rejects Chiefs and Royals' Stadium Vote

The "Vote No" campaign was overjoyed at the results at their watch party while neither Clark Hunt nor John Sherman spoke to the media.

Sherman and Chiefs' team president Mark Donovan did speak at the "Vote Yes" watch party though, respecting the democratic process while acknowledging that the teams' respective futures in Jackson County are uncertain

There will be significant debate in the coming months about what the consequences of this outcome are. At this point, we can't be certain of anything.

I'd expect neighboring counties like Johnson, Wyandotte, Clay, and others to make pitches to the teams. Johnson and other counties in Kansas, in particular, have been itching for an opportunity to bring one of the city's premier sports franchises to join Sporting KC on that side of the state line.

Jackson County residents currently pay a 3/8th-cent sales tax that runs through 2031. This proposal would've replaced it with a 40-year agreement at the same 3/8th-cent rate, but now it is still set to expire.

In any case, this is a massively disappointing result for the Chiefs and Royals. Jackson County made their voices heard in a thorough democratic process that saw over 24% of voter turnout, a significant increase from the just over 13% that turned out for City Council elections last June.

It remains to be seen what will happen and we'll keep you updated on the latest news as it becomes available.

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