Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 112
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for November 8, 2001

The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.

I see that owners of the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals want the taxpayers to pony up $250 million to improve their respective stadiums. Of this, $100 to $150 million is to come from taxpayers statewide. Royals owner David Glass was interviewed on the radio and said one of the things they want to do is widen concourses so they can put more retail space in them, disguised as “things for fans to do.” This effort was cleverly announced at the same time reports surfaced that two teams in other cities will fold.

Kansas City’s sports owners thus join the owners in St. Louis in asking for taxpayer backing. We’ve already paid for a new football stadium over there and the owners of the Cards would prefer a taxpayer-built stadium to the one they own and fill nightly in season. Politically, a St. Louis-Kansas City alliance is essential to getting taxpayer support through the legislature. They’ll buy off a few outstate legislators with projects in Springfield or Cape or where-ever, but that’s never proved difficult.

Now, I like the Royals and the Chiefs, even in their current abject conditions. The Royals and I both arrived in Missouri in 1969, and I’ve supported them ever since. But I believe that the way to support them is by attending games and buying merchandise, not by extracting more money from the beleaguered taxpayer. Why should we sign onto spend our money to support owners whose net worth approximates the assessed valuation of Johnson County? Let’s hope our area legislators ask the same thing.

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