Chiefs, Royals Sign New Lease Agreements with Jackson County Sports Authority

The Kansas City Chiefs president Mark Donovan and Royals vice president Brooks Sherman signed new lease agreements with the Jackson County Sports Authority at a press conference Wednesday. Photo credit: Will Crow.

Posted March 28, 2024

The Kansas City Royals and Chiefs have signed new lease agreements to stay in Jackson County provided the upcoming sales tax extension is passed.

On Wednesday, the teams held a press conference to sign new lease agreements with the Jackson County Sports Authority.

The Chiefs’ term would last 25 years with three five-year renewal options. The lease term commences upon the Royals demolishing the Kaufmann Stadium. The Royals’ term spans 40 years with two five-year renewal options. The term would end at the same time as the 40-year sales tax. 

The Chiefs would pay $1.1 million in rent plus percentage rent while the Royals would pay $2.75 million plus percentage rent.

Both teams will contribute funding to their respective stadium projects. The Chiefs will contribute $300 million to their Arrowhead renovations. The Royals’ contribution was not outlined in the lease agreement summary.

Additionally, the teams would be responsible for any overrun costs on the stadium projects and funding the demolition of Kaufmann Stadium. 

Following the press conference, Jackson County Executive Frank White Jr. issued a statement saying:

“Today, reports have emerged about documents signed by the Jackson County Sports Complex Authority and the Kansas City Royals and Chiefs. It is imperative to clarify to the residents of Jackson County that these documents do not constitute leases with Jackson County. The Sports Complex Authority operates independently and does not have the authority to commit or act on behalf of Jackson County in matters of leasing or similar legal agreements.

“Any lease or similar agreement involving county-owned property must undergo a rigorous and transparent process. This includes approval by the Jackson County Legislature, which is predicated on thorough public hearings, extensive debate and valuable community input. Our commitment to transparency and public participation in these processes is unwavering.

“Unfortunately, it has come to our attention that there has been misleading communication regarding the nature of these documents by the involved teams. The actual documents have not been made available for public scrutiny or journalistic review. This lack of transparency is concerning, as it hinders the ability of journalists to effectively inform the public and prevents our community from making informed decisions, especially as they pertain to matters of significant public interest and potential impact at the polls.

“County Executive Frank White, Jr. will provide further comments on this matter once the documents in question are released and fully reviewed. Our office is committed to ensuring that the public is accurately informed and that the processes involving public assets and interests are conducted with the highest degree of transparency and accountability.

“We urge the parties involved to release the documents to the public and to the media to ensure that the community is fully informed. Our residents deserve no less than a transparent, open process that allows for informed decision-making and robust public participation.

“Further updates will be provided as more information becomes available. The trust and confidence of the Jackson County community remain our utmost priority.”