Field of Schemes
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December 16, 2009

Wizards still holding out for more public money

Disproving the notion that it's not news if nothing happens, the Kansas City Business Journal has an article this week noting that there's been no notable progress toward beginning construction on a new 18,500-seat stadium for the Kansas City Wizards. Of course, that's going to happen when your team CEO declares, "Unless the world falls apart, we will break ground this year," and it's almost the end of the year. And the world hasn't fallen apart. (Not yet, anyway.)

What's the holdup? Apparently, even though the Kansas Department of Commerce offered developer Lane4 $229.5 million in sales-tax kickbacks, cash, and other tax breaks for the $400 million project (which includes offices and other development in addition to the stadium) in October, Lane4 is griping that the state has capped the total subsidy at that level, which means it can't get as low an interest rate as it would like. So far, the state isn't budging — though it did offer to pay more of the subsidy up front — so we have a stalemate.

Meanwhile, there's still that plan for a new stadium in the other Kansas City waiting in the wings. It must be nice to have more than one date to the prom — you get a nicer corsage that way.

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