KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — Officials in the Jackson County executive’s office are reacting to the document leaked to WDAF-TV last Thursday, showing the county’s allocation to the Kansas City Royals being between $4.3 billion to $6.4 billion for a new stadium over a 40-year time period.
In an interview Monday, County Administrator Troy Schulte says the county currently guarantees both Missouri and the city’s contributions to the teams out at the Truman Sports Complex.
“It’s a lot of money whether it’s four billion or five billion or six billion, it doesn’t matter,” Schulte said. “It’s a lot of money, separate and distinct from what the cost of the stadium is.”
He also said the county gives the Royals 20% of their park levy, and they cover the insurance costs of the stadium. The document leaked Thursday, which was originally meant for mainly the county legislature, showed the insurance costs for the stadium rising 10% every year.
“When you look at the underlying market and what our broker’s telling us is, there are only three insurance providers in the world that will underwrite billion-dollar stadiums,” Schulte said when pressed on whether insurance costs would really rise 10% each year. “So, it’s not like you can go out to State Farm or The General and say, ‘Give me a quote on a stadium.’ You’ve got to go to the people that will write that insurance. So, that’s why I think we’re somewhat captive to it… In fact, our number for ’24 is an 18% increase, so I can’t discount the fact that it could happen.”
The insurance portion of that document was brought into question Monday by Levy Craig Real Estate Attorney Tracey Steele.
“Like I said, this doesn’t pass the smell test for me,” Steele said in an interview.
Steele said that usually, taxpayers can trust what government leaders tell them. In this instance, he’s not so sure, though.
The Royals would not respond to questions for comment Monday. Friday, after the original leak came out, the team did offer a statement, though.
“If I were face to face with Frank White, I would say, “Is it your position that you’re okay with the Royals leaving in 2031?’ Steele said. “Because that’s what going to happen if you tell them we’re cutting off the 3/8ths cent sales tax.”
County Legislator Donna Peyton said Month that County Executive Frank White was out of town. Schulte works in White’s office, though.