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Raised On Riots
06-18-2009, 10:53 PM
Sorry if repost:


It's official: Chiefs are headed to St. Joe

updated 3:30 PM

JEFFERSON CITY | A plan to bring the Kansas City Chiefs' training camp back to Missouri is a done deal.

The Missouri Development Finance Board on Thursday approved a revised agreement to issue $25 million in tax credits to the football club in exchange for improvements at the Truman Sports Complex and construction of a training facility at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph.

A major issue in approving the deal was the Chiefs' pledge to relocate their summer training camp to the university from Wisconsin, where it's been held for nearly 20 years.

Bringing the annual three-week camp back to Missouri — which could happen as early as 2010 — is expected to create an economic boon for St. Joseph and the state.

"We are very excited about bringing training camp back to the state of Missouri," Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said in a statement. "Given the increased year-round interest in the Chiefs, it was important to our family to conduct camp closer to our fans in Mid-America."

The deal was originally inked last December. This spring, however, recently inaugurated Gov. Jay Nixon began questioning the terms of the agreement and whether they matched up to the Chiefs' promises to the board.

Board members said they believed the Chiefs committed to holding camp in Missouri for 10 years, but an arrangement between the team and university stipulated only that the camp would be held in St. Joseph for five years, followed by five one-year options at the Chiefs' discretion.

That was unacceptable, Nixon said, sending the team and state back to the negotiating table. The agreement signed Thursday settles those issues.

While the Chiefs are still committed to Missouri Western for just five years, the team must now hold camp in Missouri for a minimum of 10 years — either at Western, another state university, or the Truman Sports Complex. If the club reneges on this agreement, it must pay back a portion of the tax credits it receives.

"I am pleased my administration has been able to reach a solid agreement with the Chiefs that will bring this facility and the team's training camp to St. Joseph, while also respecting and protecting Missouri taxpayers' dollars," Nixon said in a statement.

Other details of the tax-credit award remain the same as in the December agreement. To secure the tax credits, the Chiefs will make about $50.6 million in improvements to Arrowhead Stadium, and contribute $10 million toward construction of the facility at Missouri Western.

The stadium improvements are in addition to the multi-million dollar renovation already under way at the sports complex, and will include expanded meeting and restaurant space, improvements to the planned Hall of Honor and a student learning center.

The $13.4 million training facility at Missouri Western will include a 120-yard indoor field, meeting and office space and two outdoor fields. It will be owned by the university and open to the students and faculty.

Construction should begin in July, officials said.

Chiefs President Denny Thum appeared Thursday with Nixon in St. Joseph to formally announce the agreement and the new camp site. A team press release issued simultaneously thanked "the Office of Governor," the finance board and several Missouri Western officials.

But the issues raised by Nixon, a Democrat, were viewed by some as politically motivated. When the tax credit was initially approved in December, the finance board was chaired by Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican.The deal wasn't challenged until April — after Nixon had taken office and put his economic development director, Linda Martinez, in charge of the board.

A confidential memo sent by the board's lawyer to members after Martinez took control indicated that while the deal passed legal muster, the new chairwoman wanted it renegotiated. "…We have concluded that the agreement may contain provisions that, while they may have been within the spirit of the Board's approval or within the prerogative of [then-Chairman Kinder], were not specifically set forth in the Board's approval," the lawyer, David Queen, wrote in the April 6 memo. "After talking at length to the new Chair we have concluded that the best course of action is to contact the Chiefs and insist on revisions…"

Kinder called the renegotiation and the delay it caused unnecessary, and said the final deal was "in all important respects" identical to the one reached in December.

Chiefs officials likewise downplayed the significance of the changes, and pointedly credited Kinder's work to secure the tax incentives and bring the camp to Missouri.

"Nothing in the big picture has changed at all," said team spokesman Bob Moore.

Kinder said he viewed the whole episode as an attempt by Nixon to undermine him. "I think it was an all-out attempt to embarrass me, to try to make me look bad," Kinder said.

He added: "They were alleging that the deal we negotiated was flawed, but then they end up with the same deal we had."

Nixon spokesman Jack Cardetti disagreed. The new contract includes safeguards for taxpayers and enhances the return on their investment, he said.

"This was about protecting Missouri taxpayers, which is what the end contract does," Cardetti said.

chasedude
06-18-2009, 11:53 PM
Being from St. Joe.... This is Awesome!!!!

Lzen
06-19-2009, 08:33 AM
Nzoner is gonna suddenly have a lot more visitors.

kepp
06-19-2009, 08:41 AM
I consider this great news. Now I'll be able to take the family up for a day at training camp...very cool. And it will keep related revenue in Missouri where it belongs.

LaChapelle
06-19-2009, 08:51 AM
The rumors about off duty Chiefs players in bars should get more interesting. The things we don't hear about River Falls, being it's so far away.

Raised On Riots
06-19-2009, 02:01 PM
The rumors about off duty Chiefs players in bars should get more interesting. The things we don't hear about River Falls, being it's so far away.

"To the Red Rooster"!