Vote No On The Proposed New Royal Stadium In Downtown Kansas City

I wish to discuss the proposed new Royal Stadium in downtown Kansas City, MO. I relocated here from New York in 1978 and have been a business owner and community leader since then. I owned a candy store at 3027 Prospect, known as the Candy House, before the Lynnwood Shopping Center was established. I ventured into construction and was proud to have one of the top three Black general contracting companies in Kansas City.

As a founding board member of the Full Employment Council, I also owned Goodfellas Pizzeria at 3027 Prospect. I’ve coached South Suburban basketball, Red Bridge baseball, and initiated the Cub Scout system in the Kansas City School District, thanks to my godfather, Carl DiCapo, who served on their board of directors and ran the Italian Gardens restaurant on 11th and Baltimore.

However, given my understanding of how this city operates and the projects funded by taxpayers’ money, I cannot support the new stadium or any other downtown project. Over the past 40 years, I have not seen any significant improvement in the Black community despite the millions of dollars poured into projects like 18th and Vine. Our education system is in a poor state, decent housing is virtually non-existent, and outside investors are swooping in like carpetbaggers.

When you consider the Chiefs and the Royals, their owners have the financial means. If they want a new stadium, they should fund it themselves. Many of my constituents are struggling to pay their bills and healthcare costs. Only a select few in the Black community benefit when these projects go through.

The last debacle with the Royals and the Chiefs stadium should have created ten new Black millionaires through construction contracts, but it didn’t. You have to ask yourself why. I’m more aligned with Malcolm X’s perspective – we’ve been bamboozled.

In my view, any Black leadership that supports this ambiguous, insincere conversation that the Kansas City Royals’ owners are having with our community representatives is participating in a farce. I stand with County Executive Frank White – not enough information has been disclosed to warrant asking our community to vote yes on this proposal for a new stadium.

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