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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Chiefs’ President Threatens Team Could Leave Kansas City If Voters Don’t Give It Money

  • The Chiefs could explore leaving town, claims Mark Donovan, if a sales tax to fund stadium renovations doesn’t pass April 2.
  • Tales of how cheap the Super Bowl champions’ ownership is have dominated the offseason.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Could a dynasty be on the move? 

Chiefs president Mark Donovan didn’t rule it out during an interview on local television in which he advocated for voters to raise a regional sales tax and give his business the proceeds. 

Appearing on KSHB 41 in Kansas City, Donovan was asked about an April 2 vote to extend a sales tax of ⅜ cents through 2064 to fund a new Royals ballpark downtown and improvements to Arrowhead Stadium. According to the station, the team wants to add a canopy to its upper deck, fans and heating, a parking deck, and a bridge to connect the upper concourse, among other upgrades. The team says the upgrades would cost an estimated $800 million. 

The Hunt family, the team’s longtime owners, would like to contribute just $300 million to those renovations despite being worth an estimated $25 billion. Asked about taxpayers having to fund the improvements, Donovan said the ballot vote is an extension of existing taxes rather than a new one. That’s where he shifted his tone on the ramifications for the Chiefs and Royals should it not pass. 

“I can’t answer that for the Royals,” Donovan said. “I just know for us, the Chiefs, we would just have to look at all our options.”

“I think they would have to include leaving Kansas City,” Donovan responded in a follow-up question. “But our goal here is, we want to stay here. And we’re willing to accept a deal for the county to actually stay here.”

Following the team’s second consecutive Super Bowl title, the Chiefs’ offseason has been dominated by tales of their cheapness. Clark Hunt, the team’s chairman and CEO, placed 31st in an NFL Players Association poll out of 32 owners, getting an F- mark. In the poll, players said the team’s facilities, mainly the locker room and training room, are out-of-date. According to the poll, Hunt supposedly promised renovations after the 2022 season but then failed to deliver—outside of adding chairs by the players’ lockers.

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