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Thursday, Sep 18th

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Jackson County: Royals ballpark money should be spent on ballpark

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Kansas City Royals

Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders wants to see a long-term plan for improvements at Kauffman Stadium, arguing that state and city money for improvements isn't being spent on the facility.

His argument is a little esoteric, so follow along carefully. There are two pots of money used for Kauffman Stadium improvements. The larger, a three-eighth-cent sales tax generating some $400 million over 25 years, has indeed been devoted to improvements both at Kauffman and Arrowhead Stadium. 

The smaller pot of money, some $5 million a year from county, city and state sources, is spent by the Jackson County Sports Authority in response to team requests, and in recent years most of that money has been devoted to "game-day operations," according to Sanders. What that means isn't clear; the term is usually a catch-all that could apply to any number of things, including any number of small ballpark repairs -- burst beer lines, seat damage -- that sometimes defy categorization on the spreadsheet. Sanders added that his issue wasn't with the Royals, but rather with the sports authority not doing its job to oversee spending.

Still, his larger point does merit discussion: long-term plans for spending is always a good idea.

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