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Kansas City mayor blames Jackson County for 'bad faith negotiations' with Royals

 A man wearing a blue suit jacket, looks off camera in an office space. He's listening to someone off-camera.
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, pictured here, says he is concerned that turbulent stadium talks between Jackson County and the Royals could ultimately result in the team looking to play elsewhere.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says he's been frustrated by funding talks between Jackson County and the Royals that would bring the team a new downtown ballpark. While he says there is blame on both sides, he believes Jackson County has not negotiated in good faith in recent weeks.

As Royals officials meet with Jackson County leaders in an attempt to work out a deal for a new stadium in downtown Kansas City, Mayor Quinton Lucas says there are signs that the county is not negotiating in good faith.

"To the extent there is blame on both sides — and there is — I think we have seen in recent weeks more challenges coming from the Jackson County side of the ledger," the mayor told KCUR's Up To Date.

"If the county executive [Frank White] is uninterested in public funding in any way to support a stadium, I think it is worthwhile for him to just say that."

Lucas says that he'd like to hear answers about what acommunity benefits agreement with the Royals might look like, and how much the county could reasonably invest in a project of this nature.

But, he argues, White — a former Royals second baseman and the current Jackson County Executive — has not focused on that.

"Instead, what we are debating is what seems to be a bit of a personality issue between the Royals and a former Royal, and we're all caught between," Lucas said. "And, I don't think that this is something that is good for the people of Kansas City, this region more broadly, or as getting to some finality on this issue for the Royals."

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