While I completely see the point that the city needs to balance its budget, I wonder what would be more beneficial. Let’s examine the points.
The city doesn’t pay up, and the teams, basically, become free agents. Just like the Sonics did to Seattle last year, they could pack up and go because the city didn’t help them stay. Of course, there were other points in interest in Seattle, but that is for another day. With the bad economy affecting the entire country, do the teams have a realistic chance to find another city that would be able to support them financially and offer a viable fan base? One obvious answer is Las Vegas, but neither the NFL or MLB is willing to let a team camp out in Vegas due to their respective league’s stance on gambling. So Vegas is out. And in a down economy, Vegas just got some bailout money to remain viable anyway. Vegas is very out. For MLB, there are a few other options. Charlotte, NC, already has a basketball and football team. But since Charlotte is the Southern Banking Capital, the city’s economy has been hit hard. Atlanta might object to another team being so close, especially one where they have a large fan base. Charlotte stays on the list for now. Then there is New Orleans. Like Charlotte, there is an established pro sports legacy. One advantage New Orleans has is a ready stadium in the Superdome. Although it may be outdated, at least there is a place to play immediately. New Orleans is on the list. As far as I can see, those are the options for the Royals. Besides, who would want one of the worst teams of the last 20 years?
Unfortunately for the Chiefs, the options are not good. LA. That’s it. And we all know how that is going to turn out, don’t we Al Davis . . . .
Besides loosing the teams, there would be a ton of revenue leaving the area, along with jobs in concessions, parking, stadium maintenance, and team operations.
Now, let’s examine what would happen if KC bucks up and pays the bill. The teams stay. There is a rabid fan base for the Chiefs, which keeps the locals happy. People stay in employed and pump money back into the local economy. Kansas City would lose a lot more than $2 million if they choose not to pay up.
In this time of economic belt-tightening by municipalities everywhere, this is one time where the muni needs to splurge a little to keep their local economy from flat-lining.