The Kansas City Star ran an editorial today in which it talks about how great and exciting the Royals in the World Series is. How it has brought the community together and given them a sense of purpose.
Oh, and how this fleeting bit of joy that will be over in a couple of weeks is totally worth a quarter of a billion dollars in taxpayer handouts to one of the richest men in the country:
The power of major league sports to bring this entire community together has been obvious in the past few weeks. It’s a big reason taxpayers were told they needed to approve public funding for a renovated Truman Sports Complex in 2006. And it has worked as advertised.
Apologies in advance for my playing Debbie Downer, but let us recall this report from 810 WHB in Kansas City from two years ago. It’s about how part of the public money given to the Royals was in the form of a maintenance and upkeep fund. This is how that was being used:
The Kansas City Royals have requested nearly $17 million of taxpayer money the past five years from the Kauffman Stadium repair and upkeep fund but spent only 9% of the money received on actual repairs and maintenance to the stadium, according to documents obtained by Sports Radio 810 WHB . . . The Royals have received at least $12.7 million from taxpayers that was approved by the Jackson County Sports Complex Authority as part of the RMMO provision of the team’s lease with the county and spent it on full and part time employee salaries, security, cable tv, first aid, utilities, telephones and even payroll taxes. By using the money for payroll taxes, the team literally collected taxpayer money to pay their own taxes.
The Stadium Authority that is supposed to oversee all of this has been cited by state officials for not having open meetings and stuff too. So in addition to using your tax money to pay their own tax bill, the powers behind this handout to David Glass — who is estimated to be worth around $2 billion — don’t really want you to worry your pretty little head about how the money is spent.
Enjoy the World Series, Kansas Citians. Get excited and go crazy. But don’t go so crazy that you convince yourself that a little sporting event like this is worth a quarter of a billion taken out of your pockets and wasted.