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Nick’s Picks | Kansas Makes a Play for Chiefs and Royals More Stadium Drama Ahead

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Above image credit: "Kansas City Week in Review" host Nick Haines. (John McGrath | Flatland)
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Ahead of next week’s special legislative session in Kansas, a group of high-ranking lawmakers have written to Chiefs owner Clark Hunt offering him a huge package of state subsidies, if he agrees to move the team to the Sunflower State.  

The letter was signed by Kansas House and Senate leaders. The lawmakers want Hunt to sign off on a multi-billion-dollar bond deal that would support a new stadium, most likely in Wyandotte County. The deal could be voted on as early as next week when the legislature returns.  

So far, the Chiefs haven’t responded to the request. 

But the Royals have.  

In a rare public statement, the team says it’s interested in exploring the idea. A spokesperson for the Royals front office says the team is “evaluating all options” after voters rejected a stadium tax at the ballot box two months ago. 

A rendering of a potential Kansas City Chiefs domed stadium in Kansas.
Manica Architecture has created renderings for a potential domed stadium for the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas. (Courtesy | Manica Architecture)

Missouri Execution 

Missouri is about to carry out its second execution of the year.  

Unless Gov. Mike Parson intervenes at the last moment, David Hosier is set to die by lethal injection Tuesday night. 

The 69-year-old navy veteran was convicted of killing his ex-wife and her new husband in their Jefferson City apartment building in 2009. 

If Hosier’s death sentence is carried out as scheduled, Missouri will tie with Alabama as the state with the most executions in 2024. 

More Plaza Woes 

It’s now eight months since we were told a Texas firm was buying the financially struggling Country Club Plaza. Yet there’s still no word on a deal being struck.  

In the meantime, the shopping center’s headaches continue to grow. In addition to concerns over crime and an exodus of stores, another Plaza restaurant closed over the weekend. On Sunday, locked doors greeted diners and staff at Chuy’s on the Plaza. A sign says the eatery is “permanently closed.” 

If you go by the Plaza this week, you’ll also notice that its biggest and most photographed fountain is out of commission

What for decades was called the “JC Nichols Fountain” has dried up. (It was stripped of its name in 2020 after widespread criticism of Nichols’ racist housing restrictions.) 

City officials say they don’t know when the water will flow again. They’re blaming a broken pump. The city “has no estimated arrival date” for the parts needed to turn the fountain back on. 

Mayor Lucas on Paternity Leave? 

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas is expecting his second child this week.  

The baby’s due date is this Saturday. 

If you follow Lucas on social media, you know he’s not shy about sharing his views about everything from sports to national politics. But he is extremely tight-lipped about his private life.  

Lucas made no public announcements when he got married in April 2021 and was uncharacteristically quiet about the birth of the couple’s first child a few weeks later. 

It’s not certain whether Lucas will transfer power to his mayor pro-tem so he can take paternity leave. 

Border Patrol 

A few months ago, Gov. Mike Parson made a big deal about deploying hundreds of Missouri National Guard troops and Highway Patrol troopers to the Mexican border. 

But is he now ready to bring them home? 

Parson’s executive order expires this week. 

He has yet to confirm whether he will extend their tour of duty or ask them to return to Missouri. 

Parson signed the order in February, sending up to 200 National Guard members and 22 State Highway Patrol troopers to aid Texas in a plan dubbed, “Operation Lone Star.”  

Buc-ee’s Store 

Kansas City’s first Buc-ee’s moves one step closer to opening this week. 

Tonight, the Unified Government’s planning commission officially takes up a request by the company to build a store near the Kansas Speedway on Village West Parkway. 

If you’re not familiar, Buc-ee’s is a Costco-sized gas station chain, based out of Texas, that is known for its remarkably tasty food, trinkets, aisles of snacks and all manner of surprising and unusual finds.  

It’s got a cult-following. When we broke the news that Buc-ee’s was coming to town last month, it attracted a million online views, more than any other story in recent station memory. 

Weekly Planner 

It’s Flag Day this Friday. Also, don’t forget Father’s Day on Sunday. 

Here are some other big events happening where we live: 

Shakespeare Festival: “Julius Caeser” takes up residence at Southmoreland Park, next to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. It’s the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, 20 nights of free outdoor theatrical performances, starting this Tuesday at 8 p.m. 

Boulevardia: Kansas City’s hometown brewing company hosts Boulevardia this weekend. The two-day beer, food and music festival starts Friday evening outside Crown Center.         

Juneteenth celebrations start early in Kansas City: While the federal holiday marking the end of slavery in America isn’t until next week, Kansas City is hosting its Juneteenth Heritage Festival this Saturday in the 18th & Vine jazz district. Many other area cities are marking the holiday on Saturday, including Prairie Village and Overland Park.  

International Dragon Boat Festival: Brush Creek on the Country Club Plaza hosts the annual Kansas City International Dragon Boat Festival on Saturday. The boats enter the water for practice at 8 a.m. Drum rollers and dragons will march along the banks of Brush Creek to kick-off the race at 9:45 a.m. 

Celebrity Sightings 

Here’s a blast from the past. 

Donny Osmond performs at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday night. 

Country music star Chris Stapleton brings his “All-American Road Show” to T-Mobile Center on Wednesday. 

Also on Wednesday, famed presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin unpacks her latest book on the 1960s at Unity Temple on the Plaza.  

NPR’s Ari Shapiro speaks at the KC Downtown Library on Thursday. 

And comedian Wanda Sykes is at the Music Hall on Saturday.  

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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