How to upgrade Arrowhead for the World Cup, at no cost to taxpayers

Because of our Kansas City Announcement as host of FIFA World Cup 2026There has been a lot of talk about how to pay for temporary changes to GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium to accommodate football – but little in the way of specifics has been shared.

A possible answer may lie in the funding sources Jackson County officials briefly discussed with the county’s former financial adviser last fall.

In retrospect, the mechanism in question could have seen tens of millions of dollars funneled into Arrowhead modifications — without paying a dime in taxes — as long as the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals began giving it a go.

At the end of September 2021, the financial advisory firm Stifel Nicolaus & Co. Inc. present the County Administrator Troy Schulte an option for a direct-purchase transaction that will involve issuing new bonds for the Truman Sports Complex that will be retired using stadium revenues.

Morgan Stanley, the approved underwriter, will buy bonds – in a principal amount not exceeding $ 40 million – and generate proceeds that Jackson County can use in certain tax-exempt eligible projects, according to an initial term sheet included among the records. Kansas City Business Journal obtained through a Sunshine Law request.

With the Chiefs and Royals agreement, the new bond will be paid from current stadium revenue at no additional cost to Jackson County, according to December meeting documents. Team revenue for the Chiefs’ and Royals’ 2021 season total $495 million and $263 millioneach according to Forbes‘ latest annual assessments.

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