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Nick’s Picks | Super Bowl Week for the Chiefs Royals and World Cup Also Making News

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

I host a weekly TV program that lifts the hood on important political stories and holds our public officials to account. But let’s be honest. Is there any bigger story in Kansas City this week than the Kansas City Chiefs appearing in the Super Bowl? Few people seem to want to talk about anything else.  

The Chiefs take on the San Francisco 49ers this weekend in Super Bowl LVIII. 

Sunday’s game starts at 5:30 p.m. in Las Vegas.  

The venue is Allegiant Stadium, the new home of the Las Vegas Raiders, which some say looks like something out of a Star Wars film. Opened in 2020, the shiny black venue resembles Darth Vader’s helmet.  

As you’ll see this week, the stadium has some strikingly futuristic features, including a retractable field that allows concerts and other big events to take place there without damaging the grass. 

For the 49ers, it is a chance to earn their sixth Super Bowl trophy, which would tie them with the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers for the most wins. The Chiefs are looking to become the first team in two decades to win back-to-back titles. 

In other Super Bowl-related news, Usher will headline the halftime show, Reba McEntire will perform the national anthem and Post Malone has been asked to sing “America the Beautiful.” 

But no matter their star power, the NFL’s booked talent is certain to be eclipsed once again by Taylor Swift, who is scheduled to fly in from a concert in Tokyo to watch her boyfriend play. 

If you can’t come up with the $6,000-plus to be in a seat at Sunday’s game, you can join thousands of your fellow Chiefs fans at the Power & Light District. The downtown entertainment venue is hosting Kansas City’s biggest watch party on its 40-foot outdoor screen.  

The Red Kingdom Block Party will feature live music and giveaways starting at 11 a.m. on Sunday. 

Last Week, Reviewed

Super Bowl Parade 

Even though the Chiefs still must win on Sunday, Kansas City leaders are already laying the groundwork for a Super Bowl parade.  

Last week, the City Council earmarked $995,000 towards the cost of a downtown victory parade on Valentine’s Day.  

That’s already freaking out local florists who are panicking over how they’ll deliver flowers on their busiest business day of the year. 

With hundreds of thousands of people expected to attend the parade and with scores of road closures, area florists are encouraging customers to change their delivery date to Feb. 13 to guarantee an on-time delivery – especially for arrangements headed to the downtown area.  

They also want to remind you that many workplaces, including schools, may be closed for the Super Bowl parade, so if you’re sending flowers, it would be best to choose a residential delivery address. 

Royals Ballpark Announcement 

I have a sneaking suspicion that the Kansas City Royals will finally put us out of our misery this week. 

After delaying a decision about where they plan to build their new ballpark, it looks like we’ll finally find out in the next few days. 

Over the weekend, Royals owner John Sherman told reporters he wants to make the announcement “meaningfully ahead” of early voting for the upcoming stadium tax.  

Well, early voting begins next week. Feb. 16 is when military voters can begin sending in absentee ballots for the April 2 election. 

While the Royals have floated several locations for their new ballpark, we’ve heard from multiple sources that the team has settled on a stretch of land next to the Power & Light District. It would include the iconic glass Kansas City Star Press Pavilion building, which would be demolished to make room for the new stadium. 

World Cup 

Mark June 16, 2026, in your calendar. That’s when the World Cup is coming to town. 

Eighteen months after learning Kansas City would be a host city for the global soccer tournament, we now know what to expect. 

Over the weekend, FIFA announced that Arrowhead Stadium will play host to six World Cup matches, including a quarter-final game.  

That gives Kansas City a more significant role than many had predicted. 

The six games will take place over a 26-day window ending July 11 with the quarter-final match. 

But there’s a lot we still don’t know. 

We don’t know yet what teams will play here. 

We don’t know when you can buy tickets. 

We also don’t know the kick-off time for any of the World Cup games. It’s likely they’ll be morning or early afternoon matches to accommodate the global TV audience. 

Now the hard work begins for Kansas City’s World Cup host committee. With dates in hand, they can work on how to get thousands of international visitors from the airport to their hotels and the stadium. And all for free. That’s a requirement from FIFA, soccer’s governing body. 

They must also convince lawmakers to part with cash. Republican legislative leaders in Topeka have already balked at a request for $32 million in funding for the tournament.  

Kansas City and other host cities are responsible for the transportation and security costs of the tournament, which will be substantial. Even early round games could attract heads of state from other countries, and if England is playing here, possibly a few members of the Royal family. 

A large crowd at Power and Light watched USA vs. England.
A KC Live! crowd takes in USA vs. England in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup (Courtesy | Power & Light District)

Nevada Voters 

The state of Nevada will be topping the headlines this week. And it’s not just because its biggest city, Las Vegas, is hosting the Super Bowl.  

Nevada is the next stop on the presidential election calendar.  

The contest begins Tuesday, though some are referring to it as a muddled, multi-day confusing hybrid of caucuses and primaries that won’t wrap up until Thursday. 

Trump Ballot Case 

The U.S. Supreme Court plunges into a political minefield this week as it takes up the case of Donald Trump’s eligibility to run for president. 

This Thursday, the justices will hear oral arguments on whether states have the power to disqualify Trump from the ballot. 

Eleven states are challenging the former president’s eligibility, citing his attempts to upend the 2020 election and his role in stoking a riot at the Capitol. 

It’s considered the most consequential election-related case the justices have waded into since the court’s 5-4 decision that effectively handed George W. Bush the White House during the razor-close 2000 presidential race. 

Ukraine Ambassador 

With emergency funding for Ukraine still at a standstill in Congress, a new charm offensive is now underway. 

This week, the Ukrainian ambassador will be in Kansas City as part of a 10-state trip to make the case for American support for the war-torn nation.  

Ukrainian Ambassador Oksana Markarova will meet with local political, civic and business leaders during a speech Tuesday at the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Boardroom, inside Union Station. 

She’ll also speak to a class of University of Missouri-Kansas City students and visit Heart-to-Heart International in Lenexa to see portable medical clinics being sent to Ukraine. 

In related news, the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote this week on new funding for Israel. Notably absent from the proposal is any funding for Ukraine. 

State of the City 

It’s going to be a busy week for Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas. Before he boards a plane for Las Vegas, he will deliver his State of the City address. 

The annual speech has become a yearly ritual for sitting mayors of the city. 

Lucas will most certainly take credit for the Chiefs being in the Super Bowl, for the World Cup coming to town and for the successful opening of a new Kansas City International Airport terminal. But lingering questions remain over unrelenting homicides and the unraveling of several signature programs, including pothole repair and free bus service. 

The public is invited to attend the speech. Mayor Lucas will deliver his address this Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. inside the auditorium of Children’s Mercy Hospital’s Research Institute at 2401 Gilham Road. 

Bushnell Closure  

Did you know Kansas City is home to one of America’s leading manufacturers of binoculars? 

Bushnell has been headquartered near Oak Park Mall in Overland Park for more than 30 years. 

But not for much longer.  

More than 200 employees face an uncertain future this week after the firm’s parent company announced a massive restructuring. 

Bushnell is owned by Vista Outdoors, best known as the maker of CamelBak water bottles.  

The Business Journal reports the Bushnell brand will now become part of Vista’s larger outdoor performance division based out of Boseman, Montana. 

In addition to binoculars, Bushnell makes performance optics for sports, including trail cameras, rifle scopes and range finders for hunters and golfers. 

Indian Springs Site 

It’s been more than 20 years since the Indian Springs Mall closed in Kansas City, Kansas. Despite lots of promises, Unified Government leaders have yet to find a viable path forward for the nearly 50-acre site.  

You’d think it would have been snapped up quickly given its prominent position next to two major highways, Interstate 70 and Interstate 635. But that has not happened.  

Currently, the abandoned site is home to a police station and a transit center, but if you’ve got ideas for a more exciting use, your local elected leaders want to hear from you. 

This Wednesday, the Unified Government is hosting an open house at the former mall. They’ve been trying to capture the interest of developers, architects and contractors.  

You can take part on Wednesday, between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in the Community Room at 849 N. 47th St., next to the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department East Patrol Station.  

There is a request for proposals on the Unified Government’s website. 

Kelce’s Mom 

I must confess that I pay very little attention to the latest happenings involving Chiefs players or their family members. I couldn’t care less about their latest fashion choices, their mega mansions, or what restaurants they frequent.  

But I know a lot of other people do. So, in that spirit, I should let you know that Travis Kelce’s mother will be on “The Price is Right” this week. 

Drew Carey will host a special Super Bowl edition of the game show, featuring Donna Kelce.  

Her sons, Travis and Jason, are scheduled to serve as guest stars on the show, via video. 

The special broadcast airs Wednesday night at 7 p.m. on CBS. 

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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