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As Jackson County stadium tax vote nears, Crossroads communities fret over the future

Two signs are shown side by side. One on left is blue and white and reads "No on the Downtown Stadium." The one at right is red and white and reads "Yes on 1."
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
Businesses throughout Kansas City's Crossroads Arts District display signs opposing and supporting a possible extension of a 3/8th-cent sales tax that would help pay for a new ballpark in the neighborhood.

Many people who work and play in the Crossroads Arts District are concerned a downtown baseball stadium would close local businesses and disrupt the neighborhood's character. Jackson County residents will vote April 2 on whether to extend a 3/8th-cent sales tax to fund a new ballpark there.

With less than a week to go before a critical April 2 vote, some business owners and Crossroads Arts District communities are still concerned about the prospect of welcoming a new baseball stadium into the neighborhood.

Groups like the Rural Grit Happy Hour, a roots music showcase at The Brick bar, are hosting rallies and concerts to encourage people to vote against the extension of a 3/8th-cent sales tax that would help fund the ballpark's build. They worry the proposed location would raise property taxes, cause businesses like The Brick to shutter and leave them without a venue.

Business owners are grappling with an uncertain future, too. Some say they've had few opportunities to speak with the Royals since they announced their plans in February.

"We do want to be neighbors," said Jill Cockson, who owns Chartreuse Saloon on Oak Street. "We don't want to be squashed."

  • Jill Cockson, owner, Chartreuse Saloon
  • Sarah Hoffman, owner, Green Dirt on Oak
  • Kim Stanton, organizer, Rural Grit Happy Hour
  • Rick Johnson, banjo player, Rural Grit Happy Hour
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