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Nick’s Picks | Kansas Places a Big Bet on Sports

Chasing the Chiefs

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

After years of debate, Kansas is about to become the 34th state in the nation to legalize sports betting.

This morning a sports wagering bill is sitting on Gov. Laura Kelly’s desk. Will she sign it into law this week?

Under the measure, Kansas would get a 10% cut on every bet placed. Another 80% would be funneled into a special fund to help lure the Chiefs or another major sports team to the state.

If the governor signs the bill, sports wagering would start Sept. 1 in Kansas.

An effort to approve sports betting in Missouri is currently stalled in Jefferson City.

Also awaiting Kelly’s signature this week are two contentious bills just passed by the Republican-controlled legislature. 

One would outlaw mask mandates, anywhere in Kansas.

A second bill would allow parents to enroll their children in any public school district in the state, regardless of where they live. Under the measure, a school could only deny admission if they were at maximum capacity.


Catching Up


Missouri Schedules Execution

The death penalty will be back in the headlines this week.

Missouri has scheduled its first execution of the year.

On Tuesday, Carman Deck is scheduled to die by lethal injection after being convicted in the shooting deaths of an elderly couple near St. Louis back in 1996.

Deck’s attorneys have petitioned the governor’s office for clemency, claiming their client was subject to years of childhood abuse and neglect. A spokesperson said Gov. Mike Parson was “reviewing” the request.

Deck would be the fourth person put to death in Missouri since Parson became governor in 2018.

Missouri Takes Up Transgender Sports Ban

It has become the most vexing, emotionally charged issue in all of sports. Should transgender athletes be allowed to compete in womens events? In Kansas last week, lawmakers failed to muster enough votes to pass a transgender sports ban. Now the debate moves to Missouri.

This week, the Missouri Senate is expected to consider two bills. One requires student athletes to compete only on teams that match the sex listed on their birth certificate. A second bill would put the issue to a public vote. Both measures passed the Missouri House last week.

Bieber Fever

Watch out for possible traffic jams around T-Mobile Center on Wednesday as “Bieber fever” hits Kansas City.

Pop sensation Justin Bieber will be in town for a concert that was originally scheduled for last year but was postponed because of the pandemic. 

Bieber takes the stage at T-Mobile Center on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m.

Concert Week Returns with All-in $25 Tickets

Concert tickets can be really expensive. Now you can see some of the world’s biggest bands perform live for just $25. 

Live Nation’s big Concert Week promotion starts on Wednesday. 

That means you can see more than 3,700 concerts here and across the country for an all-in price of $25, and that includes all taxes and fees.

Included in the offer are upcoming shows from Jack White, Bon Iver, Chicago and HAIM at Starlight Theater, to Luke Bryan and Machine Gun Kelly at T-Mobile Center.

The $25 ticket promotion starts on the Live Nation website on Wednesday at 9 a.m.  The sale runs through May 10.

Chiefs in Europe?

The Kansas City Chiefs will find out this week whether they’ll be sacrificing one of their home games next season for a matchup overseas.

On Wednesday, the NFL will announce its latest slate of international games. 

If the Chiefs are picked, they would play one of their fall games in either the United Kingdom, Germany or Mexico.

Chiefs flag waves in Arrowhead Stadium.
The Kansas City Cheifs host the AFC Championship Game on Sunday. (Courtesy | Kansas City Chiefs)

Cinco de Mayo

It’s time for a fiesta! Thursday marks Cinco de Mayo. It’s a minor holiday in Mexico meant to mark the day the Mexican Army beat the French army back in 1862. But here in the United States, it’s taken on a life of its own as a giant celebration of Mexican American culture.

On Thursday, dozens of local bars and restaurants will be offering Cinco de Mayo drink and food specials.

Guadalupe Centers is going big with a two-day celebration featuring mariachis, folkloric dancers, food trucks, kids’ rides and a petting zoo.  It starts Friday night. Admission is free.

Daily Guide 

Here’s a quick guide to some other notable events happening around the metro this week:

Monday: Muslim families mark the end of Ramadan. The official holiday is called Eid al-Fitr, which means “festival of breaking the fast.” It comes after a month of abstaining from all food and drink from sunrise to sunset.

Tuesday: This week we’re celebrating the 90th birthday of one of Kansas City’s best known civil rights leaders. The city is hosting a massive party for Alvin Brooks at the Kansas City Museum on Tuesday night. Brooks was one of the first Black police officers in Kansas City. He would later become the first African American to head a city government department. And he is the founder of the city’s longest running anti-violence organization, Ad-Hoc Group against Crime.

Friday: First Fridays are back in the Crossroads. That means live music, liquid libations, food trucks and browsing some of the best creations from Kansas City’s independent artists. At this Friday’s event, the Buttonwood Arts Space is opening up a major new exhibition called, “Kansas City.” It features more than 170 works of art depicting Kansas City themes from BBQ to jazz. The exhibit benefits KC Parks & Recreation. Half of all purchases will go to the parks department.

Also on Friday, 30,000 pounds of meat is getting smoked at Arrowhead Stadium for the Kansas City BBQ Festival.

Arrowhead’s Parking Lot C is the place for three days of BBQ, bands, food demonstrations and beer.

Pitmasters from around the country will be heading to Kansas City for the BBQ bash, which starts at 5 p.m. on Friday and parties on until Sunday at 5 p.m. And best of all, admission is free. Even the parking at Arrowhead Stadium is free. But be prepared to pay for any food or liquid refreshments you consume.

Saturday: Mix up a pitcher of mint julep and put on your most outrageous hat, it’s time for the Kentucky Derby.  America’s longest running sporting event gets underway on Saturday afternoon. It’s been dubbed the “the most exciting two minutes in sports.”

Sunday: We honor our mother’s on Sunday. Have you forgotten Mother’s Day? 

It doesn’t matter if your appreciation comes in the form of a sticky hug, a handmade card, breakfast in bed, or an expensive gift, find a way to celebrate mom on what’s shaping up to be a beautiful day. The Mother’s Day forecast: No rain and a high of 80 degrees.

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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