Bill regarding sports tourism in Kansas City and St. Louis awaits approval

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JEFFERSON CITY - House Bill 677 has made it all the way to Gov. Parson's desk and is awaiting his approval or denial.

The bill would allot state funds to Bartle Hall and Truman Sports Complex in Kansas City as well as the Enterprise Center in St. Louis. If approved, the funding would begin in July of 2021. 

According to the bill, the amounts could be $2.5 million per facility per year until 2031 and $4.5 million per facility for 10 years after that. 

Rep. Jonathan Patterson, R-Lee's Summit, sponsored the bill. He said this is more than just funding going toward the Chiefs and Blues.

"If we can draw visitors to these other events, that will bring visitors and tax dollars to the state," Patterson said. 

On the other hand, Rep. Ben Baker, R-Neosho, said this isn't what money should be going toward. 

"Basically, I don’t believe our hard-earned tax dollars should subsidize sports teams or give corporate handouts," Baker said. 

However, Patterson said he sees this as an investment for the state.

"If the state can make a small investment and then see a return on that investment, I think it will be overall a net benefit for the state."

If the bill is approved by Gov. Parson, the funds would be regulated by the Department of Economic Development to make sure that the investment is profitable for the state.