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Old 05-27-2006, 05:19 AM  
Boyceofsummer Boyceofsummer is offline
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Hunt puts Super Bowl, roof aside

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/14669845.htm

Final Four not in KC’s plans

Hunt puts Super Bowl, roof aside

Chiefs cite business, political opposition to tax proposal
By RANDY COVITZ and DEANN SMITH
The Kansas City Star

There will be no Super Bowl in Kansas City in 2015. And the chance for the community to land an NCAA men’s Final Four in the foreseeable future vanished as well.

Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt on Thursday announced the club would not be asking Jackson County to place a measure on the November ballot or in the near future to finance a $202 million rolling roof over Arrowhead and Kauffman stadiums.

“The Chiefs have determined that the plan for a rolling roof should be put aside for the time being,” Hunt said in prepared remarks. “We have informed NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue that we are withdrawing our request for the previously granted February 2015 Super Bowl.”

In April, Jackson County voters approved Question 1 — a sales tax that will help finance the bulk of $575 million in renovations for Arrowhead and Kauffman. In turn, the Chiefs and Royals are contributing $100 million toward the renovations, will pay any cost overruns and are locked in through 2031.

However, Question 2, a proposal to fund $170 million of the rolling roof through a use tax primarily on businesses, failed by 4,000 votes. Hunt — who had dreamed of a rolling roof for the Truman Sports Complex for 40 years and had a guarantee for the 2015 Super Bowl had the vote passed — vowed to keep his dream alive.

But it soon became apparent that the community would not warm to the rolling roof, or even a retractable roof, unless the Chiefs and Royals increased their contributions to at least a third of the cost. The Hunt family committed up to $32 million to the roof.

“There was no reason for the Hunt family to contribute more,” said Chiefs vice chairman Jack Steadman. “This was not a Chiefs issue. It was a community issue. The Chiefs pushed it because Lamar felt it would bring major events to Kansas City and make Arrowhead a 365-day-a-year venue as opposed to a 15- or 20-day venue.”

But political and business leaders took an opposite view, saying it was up to the Chiefs to develop an acceptable solution. The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and other business leaders expressed opposition to a use tax for the rolling roof, and there was little sentiment in the Jackson County Legislature to put the same measure that failed back on the ballot.

“It was Lamar’s dream to bring major events to Kansas City, and the political and business leaders have spoken loud and clear that they did not feel it was an important use of the use tax,” Steadman said.

The Chiefs also commissioned a poll to gauge public reaction to the rolling roof or a retractable roof “because if the poll were strongly positive, the political and business leaders might have looked at it differently as far as their support,” Steadman said. But the poll showed lukewarm support.

Though the Chiefs decided to proceed on the renovations without the rolling roof, Hunt didn’t totally rule it out someday.

“In order to leave the door open for the future,” Hunt said, “the renovations of Arrowhead will be designed to accommodate a roof so that the future leaders of the community can, at their election, seize the opportunity to put Kansas City on the national map as a destination for all manner of major events.

“We will ask the Royals to consider planning their renovations of Kauffman Stadium to accommodate a future rolling roof.”

HOK Sport’s Dennis Wellner, the project’s lead architect, said it is developing a design that “will allow for the rolling roof to be incorporated at a future date.”

The Royals at first were slow to come on board for the roof, but Mark Gorris, senior vice president for business operations, said: “We don’t see any major issues today that would prohibit a rolling roof from being added later, but we will study this further in the detailed design phase.

“We remain very supportive of Mr. Hunt’s dream of a Super Bowl, and at the same time, we need to maximize the benefits from the referendum the voters already, thankfully, passed. What is most important on such matters is that there be sufficient dialogue between everyone; general citizens, business owners and civic leaders.”

The renovations for Kauffman were sufficient to ensure a future All-Star baseball game for Kansas City.

The Chiefs’ decision drew a mixture of regret and understanding from political and business leaders Thursday evening.

“I’m very disappointed for both the city and Lamar Hunt,” said Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes, who had been working with the NCAA to bring the 75th Final Four to Kansas City in 2013. “However, I am hopeful that by leaving the option open for a possible roof in the future, we can reconsider this decision at a later date, because I continue to believe it would be a great asset for the entire community.”

Jackson County Executive Katheryn Shields said, “We had a magic moment there” on April 4, and when Question 2 didn’t pass, the momentum was lost. She also said she and others didn’t hear from the Chiefs for weeks after the election and felt the teams needed to consider putting in more money to pay for the roof.

Pete Levi, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce president, said voters showed they had many questions that must be resolved.

“Those questions included the (safety of the) design of the roof, the use by the Royals and, very importantly, the split between the public and private dollars,” he said. “But since April, there have not really been any answers to those questions. … Even though the Chiefs have done, to their credit, quite a bit of design on different alternatives on the roof, the public has not had an opportunity to share in those.”

Still, Shields and others expressed hope that the roof can be resurrected.

“I would have liked the chance to look at other options,” Jackson County Legislature chairman Henry Rizzo said. “I am disappointed they made that final decision.”

Shields and Legislator Dan Tarwater said they shared Rizzo’s disappointment but added that the Chiefs made the right call because of the cost to taxpayers.

However, Tarwater said emphatically that he wanted to continue looking at options for financing the rolling roof, suggesting ticket surcharges or a loan from the NFL as possibilities.

“I would really like to find a way to get it done,” he said.

Kevin Gray, president of the Greater Kansas City Sports Commission, found it difficult to surrender the much-coveted Super Bowl.

“But I’m certainly upbeat about having the Chiefs here for 25 more years and the Royals here for 25 more years, and that was our No. 1 priority,” he said.

Craig Davis, who opposed the two measures on the April ballot, said the roof should stay dead unless the Chiefs or both teams pay for the entire cost. He said that voters have spoken and that Hunt is wise to accept that.

“Let them pay for the whole roof themselves. We don’t owe them that,” Davis said.

For their part, the Chiefs will leave it up to the community.

“It’s going to take a strong political and community leadership to bring it back,” Steadman said of resurrecting the roof. “The Chiefs are not going to push it in the future.”
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Old 05-27-2006, 06:44 AM   #2
Mr. Flopnuts Mr. Flopnuts is offline
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Old 05-27-2006, 07:28 AM   #3
Bwana Bwana is offline
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Hunt lied, the roof idea died!
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Old 05-27-2006, 09:37 AM   #4
Mr. Laz Mr. Laz is offline
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i guess Hunt's passion for the roof and getting a superbowl only goes as far as the taxpayers money will take it.




he's so full of crap
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Old 05-27-2006, 09:42 AM   #5
Mr. Flopnuts Mr. Flopnuts is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bwana
Hunt lied, the roof idea died!


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Old 05-27-2006, 09:51 AM   #6
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I just think its funny that he has all the money in the world to fund the roof himself considering he wants to host a SB so bad in KC, but he wants us to pay for some of it, the ones who arent multi-millionaires.

How bout focusing on playing IN a SB rather than hosting one Lamar?
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Old 05-27-2006, 09:53 AM   #7
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This is totally stupid. Lamar is right. The roof is for the community. The Chiefs are rarely going to use it. The roof is there to bring in other business like the Final Four and the Super Bowl. Also, Hunt doesn't own Arrowhead. The Chiefs lease it. Why should the Chiefs / Lamar pay for it? The taxpayers of Jax co. own the stadium and will benefit from the rolling roof. People aren't thinking clearly about this issue. KC is totally losing out by ignoring this issue. We could become a "destination city" by building the roof. The tax dollars brought in would more than pay for the cost of the roof. Our politicians and our voters are really missing the boat on this.
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Old 05-27-2006, 10:09 AM   #8
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no he di'int!
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Old 05-27-2006, 10:44 AM   #9
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In other news, George W. Bush is in his 2nd term as the President of the United States of America.

...And news reports state thate we've landed on the moon!
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Old 05-27-2006, 10:49 AM   #10
wolfpack0735 wolfpack0735 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSPimpDude
I just think its funny that he has all the money in the world to fund the roof himself considering he wants to host a SB so bad in KC, but he wants us to pay for some of it, the ones who arent multi-millionaires.

How bout focusing on playing IN a SB rather than hosting one Lamar?
PimpDude is right. i think Lamar needs to worry about getting in one than hosting one. Football was made to play outside on grass not in a dome or roof. What has this sports become if we worry if the dome is on or not for a game. so unless its the super bowl or final four, how much would it be needed for arrowhead? as for the royals?,the way they play rainouts might help them.
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Old 05-27-2006, 10:57 AM   #11
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I'm kinda disappointed, I was hoping this would happen. Hunt thinks big, he always has. This sounded like an idea just crazy enough to shock everybody by working.
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Old 05-27-2006, 11:01 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfpack0735
PimpDude is right. i think Lamar needs to worry about getting in one than hosting one. Football was made to play outside on grass not in a dome or roof. What has this sports become if we worry if the dome is on or not for a game. so unless its the super bowl or final four, how much would it be needed for arrowhead? as for the royals?,the way they play rainouts might help them.
If Lamar really gave a chit about football, why does he allow soccer to thrash the turf during football season?
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Old 05-27-2006, 12:26 PM   #13
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You have to wonder if just the rolling roof would be able to pass as a bi-state measure? Of course there is no way they could actually put together a plan that isn't screwed up in some major way.
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Old 05-27-2006, 12:36 PM   #14
Boyceofsummer Boyceofsummer is offline
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Old 05-27-2006, 12:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunther_Fan
This is totally stupid. Lamar is right. The roof is for the community. The Chiefs are rarely going to use it. The roof is there to bring in other business like the Final Four and the Super Bowl. Also, Hunt doesn't own Arrowhead. The Chiefs lease it. Why should the Chiefs / Lamar pay for it? The taxpayers of Jax co. own the stadium and will benefit from the rolling roof. People aren't thinking clearly about this issue. KC is totally losing out by ignoring this issue. We could become a "destination city" by building the roof. The tax dollars brought in would more than pay for the cost of the roof. Our politicians and our voters are really missing the boat on this.
except for the fact that the chiefs GET THE MONEY from the events hosted at arrowhead.
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