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Nick’s Picks | Sports Deadlines, Anniversary Celebrations and Community Input This Week in Kansas City

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4 minute read

Your handy-dandy guide to the week ahead: 

5O-DAY COUNTDOWN 

While many Kansas Citians are counting down to Christmas, the countdown clock is fast ticking down on another important date: The deadline to place a new Royals ballpark on the April ballot. 

Today we officially hit the 50-day mark. That’s the amount of time the Royals have left to reach agreement on a stadium location, negotiate with the county on financing, wordsmith the ballot language and launch a public campaign to win support. 

The final day to put an issue on the April ballot in Jackson County is January 23rd

The Business Journal is reporting that failure to reach a deal by then, could leave Jackson County at risk of losing both teams – the Royals to North Kansas City in Clay County and the Chiefs to the Kansas side. 

The newspaper cites real estate experts who say KCK’s Village West area, near the Kansas Speedway, would be the likeliest contender for a new Chiefs stadium. 

STILL WAITING ON FIFA 

Another big deadline is approaching this week: An announcement from FIFA on the 2026 World Cup schedule. 

Nearly 18-months after Kansas City was picked as a host site for the global games, many of the most important questions remain unanswered, including when the tournament will begin and how many soccer games will be played here.  

FIFA had earlier promised to make all those details known by the end of the year.  

A rendering of how a fan event for the 2026 World Cup might look at Union Station.
A rendering of how a fan event for the 2026 World Cup might look at Union Station. (Rendering | KC Sports Commission)

CHANGING OF THE GUARD 

There’s a big changing of the guard in Kansas this week. 

Nearly a month after Kansas voters headed to the polls to decide local council and school board races, dozens of newly elected office holders are finally claiming their seats. 

Overland Park and Prairie Village swear in new council members tonight.  

WYANDOTTE MAYOR IN THE SPOTLIGHT 

Can we expect some big surprises, even a bombshell announcement when Wyandotte County Mayor Tyrone Garner delivers his State of the County Address on Tuesday? 

While these annual speeches are often derided as “snooze-fests,” Garner has been shaking things up of late, complaining that without radical change, the county could be bankrupt by 2026.  

He’s teased a provocative plan to break up the more than 25-year-old consolidated government voters approved in 1997. 

Wyandotte County is also back in the news, as a possible site for a new Chiefs stadium, if the team can’t reach agreement with Jackson County on a new long-term lease. 

KANSAS CITY WANTS YOUR HELP ON PLANNING NEW JAIL 

You may be focused on office parties and holiday shopping right now, but Kansas City wants to divert your attention to the topic of jail cells. 

It’s becoming a pressing issue for the city.  Kansas City has been without a jail since 2019 when its longtime agreement to house detainees at the Jackson County Detention Center fell through. 

It’s been shipping inmates to rural jails ever since.  Nearly a hundred municipal court inmates are currently being held in places like Nevada, Missouri and the county jail in Warrensburg. 

After recently breaking off negotiations with Jackson County on a new joint detention center, Kansas City is going it alone and wants your help figuring out how the city should pay for a brand-new jail and where it should be located. 

This week, the city is hosting three community engagement sessions to gather residents’ feedback. 

  • Monday: Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th Street from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 
  • Wednesday: Staley Farms Golf Club, 10310 N. Olive Avenue from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 
  • Thursday: Northland Neighborhoods, Inc. 5340 Choteau Trafficway from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 

If you can’t make it to one of these meetings, you can also submit feedback online. 

FOURTH PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE 

The University of Alabama is the setting up for the fourth Republican presidential debate this week. 

GOP frontrunner Donald Trump is once again expected to be absent from the debate stage. 

The former president has scheduled a fundraiser in Florida as the debate gets underway Wednesday night in Tuscaloosa. 

BIG PARTY “BETWEEN THE STACKS” 

This week the Kansas City Public Library officially celebrates its 150th birthday. 

A yearlong celebration kicks off on Tuesday with giveaways, refreshments, games and entertainment at all 10 KC Library branches.   

The parking garage at the Kansas City Public Library in downtown Kansas City features the spines of classic books.
The parking garage at the Kansas City Public Library in downtown Kansas City features the spines of famous books. (Kevin Collison | CirtyScene)

RAISE YOUR GLASS… 

Are you looking for an excuse to celebrate this week? 

This Tuesday may offer you a good reason to raise a glass, or two.  

It’s the 90th anniversary of the end of Prohibition. 

On December 5, 1933 the 21st Amendment was finally ratified by the states, prompting President Franklin D. Roosevelt to utter his famous quote, “What America needs right now is a drink.”  

But while the 21st Amendment nullified federal Prohibition laws, states were still allowed to keep their own booze-banning mandates.  

Kansas kept Prohibition on the books until 1948. Mississippi clung to statewide Prohibition until 1966. 

REMEMBERING TINA TURNER IN KC 

The world lost rock ‘n’ roll legend Tina Turner earlier this year. Now Kansas City is remembering the music icon with a new touring Broadway musical about her life, from Turner’s humble beginnings and abusive marriage to her rise to stardom, with blockbuster hits like “Proud Mary” and “What’s Love Got to Do With It?”  

“Tina: The Tina Turner Musical” begins Tuesday night at the Music Hall. 

IN SPORTS NEWS… 

The MLS Cup final is this Saturday afternoon between Columbus and Los Angeles FC.  

And the Chiefs host the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. Game time is 3:25 p.m. 

HANUKKAH BEGINS ON THURSDAY NIGHT 

Hanukkah begins Thursday evening.  

Across the country, there are reports of Jewish Americans going bolder with their decorations this year to make a statement against rising antisemitism. 

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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