Insurance rates at US Bank, Levi’s stadiums do not support JaxCo leaked data

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A leaked memo from Jackson County purports to prove that a new Kansas City Royals stadium would actually cost taxpayers significantly more than the team claims it caused a stir two months ago.

The Royals have proposed a $2 billion development for a new stadium and surrounding area, but the memo incorrectly claimed it would actually cost between $4.37 billion and $6.42 billion.

For starters, a math error in the spreadsheet grossly overstated the top-end forecast, which should actually have been a little more than $5.13 billion.

Regardless, it’s an impressive number that understandably might make taxpayers think twice, but the problems with the county’s leaked numbers run deeper than sloppy accounting that double-counted the revenue that a sales tax extension of 3/ 8 cents.

The bigger problem – and in fact the far bigger number – is what appears to be a massively inflated assumption put into the leaked “data” related to property insurance premiums on the new stadium.

Jackson County currently pays the premiums at the Truman Sports Complex, which also includes GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, as part of its insurance package for county-owned buildings.

Those projected premiums for both stadiums have risen from $495,482 in FY 2016-17 to nearly $2.17 million, but a leaked spreadsheet suggests the county will be on the hook for $4.5 million just for a new Royals stadium in 2028 , when the team hopes to move into new digs.

Former Jackson County Legislator Dan Tarwater, who works in the insurance industry, was skeptical of those numbers.

He didn’t believe property insurance would be that high for a new building and suggested the assumption premiums would increase by a staggering 10% per year compounded over a projected 40-year lease was laughable.

Insurance premiums alone will exceed $100 million annually for the final decade of the planned lease, reaching $271 million by 2071, the county estimates.

That means of the projected $4.37 billion to $5.13 billion price tag the county would be on the hook for, according to the leaked memo, nearly $3 billion is just for insurance premiums on a new baseball stadium.

Jackson County Administrator Troy Schulte acknowledged in an email to lawmakers accompanying the spreadsheet that the “staggering” insurance costs “will need to be adjusted to actual value when a new ballpark opens.”

Schulte indicated that “our property insurance broker, Lockton,” provided the numbers.

According to information received by KSHB 41, such figures do not correspond to reality.

KSHB 41 reached out to the stadium authorities that oversee professional sports venues that have opened in the past decade to get an idea of ​​the current rate for property insurance rates on new stadiums.

Property insurance rates at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, which opened in 2016, have increased significantly over the past five years, but remain well below estimates in the leaked Jackson County memo, according to information obtained by KSHB 41.

Minnesota Vikings home field insurance costs jump from $614,092.69 in 2019 to more than $1.6 million in 2023.

Still, that’s well below the projected $4.5 million in property insurance premiums in the first year of a new stadium in the Jackson County memo.

It’s a similar story for Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., where the stadium’s city officials split costs with its tenants.

Insurance premiums there — which cover property insurance, general liability insurance and workers’ compensation, among other costs — rose from $2,870,047 in FY 2018-19 to $3,327,000 in FY 2023-24.

Levi’s Stadium, which began hosting San Francisco 49ers games in 2014, has a budgeted 3 percent annual increase in its lease.

The Texas Rangers referred all questions about their property insurance payments to Major League Baseball, while the Atlanta Braves, who opened Truist Park in 2017, and the Georgia World Convention Center, which operates Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Falcons and Atlanta United from the 2017 MLS — did not respond to repeated inquiries from KSHB 41.

The Royals have not yet decided whether they will aim for downtown and remain in Jackson County, where they have always been since their founding in 1969, or move to Clay County to a location north of the river in Northern Kansas You are.

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