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Nick’s Picks | Chiefs in the Super Bowl, and Other News Marking Time Until the Big Game

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Above image credit: "Kansas City Week in Review" host Nick Haines. (John McGrath | Flatland)
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6 minute read

Do we have to go to work today now that the Chiefs are back in the Super Bowl?

Or does Kansas City have to win for that to happen?

Expect lots of news stories this week about the cost of snagging a Super Bowl seat and of Kansas Citians defacing their bodies to commemorate the occasion.

Let me know if you’re getting ready to ink Andy Reid’s head on your bicep. Or more topically, getting a Patrick Mahomes tattoo on your “non-injured” ankle.

We’ve got to do something while we wait. The NFL’s biggest game is still two weeks away.

Super Bowl LVII is Sunday, Feb. 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

We already know that the Chiefs will be playing the Eagles. We now know who will be singing the national anthem. Country music star Chris Stapleton has been picked for that assignment.

Rihanna will headline the halftime show, in what will be her first public performance in five years.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrates with the Lamar Hunt AFC Championship trophy after the AFC Championship football game. (David Stluka | AP)

Downtown Ballpark

Royals’ owner John Sherman has just announced two more stops on his downtown ballpark listening tour. 

On Tuesday night, the ballpark roadshow heads to the Urban Youth Academy, next to the 18th and Vine Jazz District. And on Wednesday night, Sherman is heading to the Midwest Genealogy Center in Independence.

It’s been crickets on this for quite some time.

The biggest questions remain unanswered.

Where will the new stadium be built? And how do the Royals plans to pay for it? Will taxpayers be expected to foot some of the bill?

In the last couple of days, there have been social media posts showing several old buildings being demolished in Kansas City’s East Village. The presence of a wrecking ball in the area has led to speculation that this is where the Royals are planning to build their new 35,000-seat stadium.

To get your bearings, East Village is an eight-square-block area just east of City Hall.

The Royals leadership team insists it’s just one of 14 sites they’re considering and has declined to confirm that it’s their preferred location.

If you’d like to attend one of this week’s listening tour sessions, here are the dates, times, locations and details on how you can reserve your seat. There will be a session Tuesday beginning at 5 p.m. at the Urban Youth Academy, 1622 E. 17th Terr., Kansas City, Missouri. Another session is being held Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Midwest Genealogy Center, 3440 S. Lee’s Summit Road, Independence, Missouri.

KCI Opening Day

We’re still waiting for an official announcement on when the new-look Kansas City International Airport will open.

But it looks like this is the week we’ll finally know.

An ad on 810 Sports Radio has already been telling listeners to check out the new restaurants opening on Feb. 28.

After a Kansas City Business Journal reporter asked about the spot, the radio station said the ad had run in error.

KCI officials have declined to comment, other than to say, “an announcement is coming soon.”

Last Week, Reviewed

Cone Headaches

Thanks largely to the federal government, hundreds of millions of dollars are now flooding into Kansas City for infrastructure improvement projects. But while we all stand to gain from better roads, highways, and bridges, it also means a sea of orange cones and headache-inducing disruption for drivers.

This week, two large area projects will lead to big traffic snarls.

Starting this Saturday, Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) crews will begin shutting down the southbound lanes that lead to the Buck O’Neil Bridge.  The closing will have a significant impact on the more than 50,000 drivers a day who rely on the popular route to get from Kansas City’s northland to downtown.

By next Monday, those southbound lanes will be closed entirely and will remain shut for 600 days, according to a news release from MoDOT officials. The state agency is constructing a new Buck O’Neil Bridge just to the west of the existing bridge.

Meanwhile, work is finally getting underway on that express toll road in Johnson County.

On your commute this week, you will notice crews shutting down lanes on U.S. 69 in Overland Park. The most congested four-lane highway in Kansas is being widened to accommodate a new express lane in each direction. Drivers will pay a fee of between 30 cents and $1.75 to enter the special fast lanes.

Also under construction are 11 gigantic noise walls to protect homeowners living closest to the route.

The express lanes are scheduled to open in late 2025.

KC Fed Leader Departs

Wednesday is the last day on the job for Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther George.

The Fed has a mandatory retirement age of 65 and George has just reached it.

She’s led the Kansas City area office for the past 11 years.

The Fed is the most powerful economic institution in the United States, and some would say the world.

It sets interest rates, manages the country’s money supply and regulates the financial markets.

There’s no word on George’s replacement.

Downtown Freeway Lid

Big plans to put a concrete lid over a stretch of Interstate 70 that crosscuts downtown have hit a roadblock.

Kansas City officials had been pushing to cover a four-block stretch of the highway and turn it into a tourism-friendly, urban green space.

But the U.S. Department of Transportation has just rejected its request for $60 million in federal funding that would have helped make the project a reality.

The Washington-based agency questioned the project’s cost-effectiveness, a lack of dependable sources of non-federal funding and the city’s capacity to carry out the project.

Rendering of a park above the South Loop with the downtown skyline in the background.
A park above the South Loop would directly front apartment towers being developed by the Cordish Co. ( Rendering | HNTB)

Pharmacy Hours

If trying to pick up your prescription has already become a frustrating chore, it’s about to get worse.

CVS and Walmart are just the latest retailers to announce they’re cutting pharmacy hours amid a chronic staffing shortage.

Walmart says it will begin closing its in-store pharmacies at 7 p.m. instead of 9 p.m.

According to a survey from the National Community Pharmacists Association, more than three-quarters of pharmacies are having a “tough time filling open positions,” resulting in long wait times for customers.

Walgreens has responded by offering signing bonuses of up to $75,000 in certain markets to recruit pharmacists.

Dry January Ends

Are you taking part in Dry January?

Your self-imposed abstinence from intoxicating beverages officially ends at the stroke of midnight on Tuesday.

Does that mean you’ll stay up late and party?

Or are you contemplating keeping your winning streak going by starting “Dry February?”

While there’s never been more articles, more social media posts and TV segments about the Dry January trend, fewer people participated this year.

According to a new Morning Consult survey, just 15% of U.S. adults took part. That’s down from 19% in 2022.

News Roundup

  • This is the week of the Green Comet. It’s not a new Marvel superhero but a hurtling ball of dust and frozen gas that hasn’t been seen in the night sky since the Ice Age, some 50,000 years ago. It won’t be visible from Earth again for more than a million years. The glowing green comet will come closest to Earth on Wednesday. Some of us will be able to see it with the naked eye but you’ll get a better look with binoculars or a telescope.
  • Black History Month begins on Wednesday.
  • This week we will mark Groundhog Day. It’s Thursday.
  • There are no football games of consequence this weekend, unless you count the NFL Pro Bowl. It’s this Sunday at 2 p.m. in Las Vegas.

One Way to Make a Buck

Who says the American entrepreneurial spirit is dead?

Last week, I mentioned in this spot how Splash Mountain, one of Disney World’s most iconic attractions was closing.

Now you can buy authentic “Unfiltered Splash Mountain Water” on eBay.

Multiple sellers on the e-commerce website are selling “genuine Splash Mountain water” from $25 to $1,000. Merchants claim that the water was collected during the attraction’s final ride.

Splash Mountain may be gone for good, but its water can now live on forever in a little vial on your office shelf.

Can there be any better conversation starter with your workmates?

One Zinger After Another

It was good to see many of you at the Plaza Library this past week as we brought the four immediate past mayors of Kansas City together for the first time.

I’m not saying it was liking going to a comedy club, but it had more than its fair share of feisty one-liners, politically skewering quips and zingers.

We’re putting the show together for broadcast this week.

If you missed seeing Emanuel Cleaver, Sly James, Kay Barnes and Mark Funkhouser on stage, you can watch them from the comfort of your couch this Friday at 7:30 p.m. on Kansas City PBS.

Nick Haines tracks the week’s most impactful local news stories on “Kansas City Week in Review,” Friday at 7:30 p.m. on Kansas City PBS.


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