Kansas City rolls out the red carpet for the NFL.
Good evening and welcome to the NFL draft.
How did we measure up this week?
And we take a look at the future when the crowds leave.
What should be our next Big project?
Also this week, the new push to make Kansas City a transgender sanctuary city.
And for the first time in more than 30 years, Kansas signs off on a presidential primary election.
Is it worth the millions to bring you to the polls?
This doesn't even make.
Any sense at all.
The people shouldn't have to pay for.
This Week in review is made possible through the generous support of AARP, Kansas City RSL.
Dave and Jamie Cummings, Bob and Marley Scali, the Courtney Turner Charitable Trust, John H. Mize and Bank of America and a co trustees.
The restaurant at 1900.
And by viewers like you.
Hello and welcome.
I'm Nick Haynes and glad to have you company on on our weekly journey through the news of our week.
It is a huge week for Kansas City, and we have a mighty team of guests to connect the dots on what has been happening there at rival broadcast stations, but they're on the same side at home.
CNBC's Dana Wright and husband KMBC nine News anchor Chris Katsu with us.
With all the anchoring coverage you're doing with this NFL draft, is this one of the few times you get to see each other?
And if we end up arguing on this show, I don't know that we've ever done this show together.
I think we have.
But if there's a disagreement between my wife and I, it is it is likely to continue at home later in the evening.
Just a warning.
The draft sit down is a great way.
Also from a rival station we're thrilled to have with us from MI 41 News, Kevin Holmes, anchor and reporter over there.
And we're lucky this is one of the few snapshots of time when you're not behind the anchor desk this week.
Oh, but we have plenty of time for that as well.
I feel like I'm tethered to the news desk most of the time this week.
I get it.
I get two cabins are always better than one.
We're thrilled to have Kevin Collison with us who because the draft is in your backyard.
You're covering downtown and some of the biggest development projects in Kansas City with city scene.
Casey, thank you for being with us.
We're going to talk, first of all, then four years after being awarded the NFL draft, a national three day football showcase finally rolls into town.
And welcome to the NFL draft.
Do you have any plans to go?
It's here through Saturday.
It's also already causing plenty of disruption from the Kansas City School district, canceling its in-person classes and a lot of downtown businesses telling their employees to work from home to avoid the traffic snarls and parking problems.
But in addition to seeing which promising athletes will score a spot on a national team, there's an interactive football playground and plenty of celebrity watching move over Rihanna and your Super Bowl show.
We've got the Jonas Brothers and Motley Crew.
Kevin Holmes, did we get the better deal on this?
Oh, by far we did.
I know I'm rocking Motley Crue every day in my car on the drive in the word.
Especially over Rihanna.
There's there's another benefit, of course, the you know, don't you wish you were at the Super Bowl cost thousands of dollars to see that these concerts are all free up.
Here in your own backyard.
And I know there are some snarls and some problems, but what a great problem to have in our town right now.
Are you even kidding me?
This is a great problem to have the Super Bowl fan experience.
They went down there.
Visit Casey, Kathy Nelson, that whole crew went down there to kind of see what is this going to be like?
It is incredible.
I'm not some huge NFL fan.
I love football, but not all 32 teams, you know, And I went down there.
It is so much fun.
Now, we've been told this event would be a big test of how we can handle a mammoth national event.
But how did we do?
Let's start at the airport.
Former chiefs player Mitchell Schwartz took it to social media to say it's going to be a nightmare and an absolute zoo during the draft, after enduring what he says is a half mile long wait to enter the airport to pick up guests.
Just a few days ago, what was the experience for most visitors this week?
It's still a problem, but there have been instances, especially in the last couple of days, Eric Adler wrote a piece in The Star and and it was his experience that people seemed to get it.
There was less sitting at the arrivals section of the airport, but late on Wednesday night, there were still some lines as there were still a bunch of arrivals coming in at the last minute.
So it is still a problem, even though I think airport police, that they've become more aggressive in terms of ticketing and even towing.
You know, it is interesting, I hope at some point the folks at the airport take a step back and do a really thorough review of their operations and try to figure out what issues are there.
I still think they have issues with signs.
And, you know, occasionally there are problems with the traffic enforcement.
They are getting better, but they shouldn't have been caught so flat footed from the beginning.
I think one of the issues is, though, you can't legislate common sense park in the cell phone lot until it's time to pick up your people.
So many people are used to the old antiquated cases where they can park there, leave their car, walk inside and not get ticketed.
I think if, what, 200 tickets or fewer since they opened, that's about three a day.
Get more tickets, get them in the wild.
Some people don't complaining that the cell phone.
The cell phone, lots of pull to.
And I do think there are some plans to expand later down the road.
We do need more spots.
However, this is not a design problem.
This is a Doris problem.
This or I'm sorry, and this is a uniquely Kansas City local problem that people in other towns don't have this problem.
We are midday host went last night night before the draft just to see she goes everyone still just sitting there and she said I wanted to knock on the window and go what are you doing?
I just think locals don't get it yet.
It's been a long learning curve.
Okay, let's talk about the numbers.
We were told this is going to be a more than $100 million in economic development benefit to Kansas City.
And this is going to bring in 300,000 people.
Yet you have to download an app.
Kris Katz, the one pass app from the NFL, they said about 100,000 people have done that.
So how are we going to get to that 300,000 and are we going to come short of that?
I am reminded of what our good friend and colleague Michael Mahoney, said at this table, what just a couple of weeks ago we should have had some He raised some doubts at the time that there would be a 300,000 crowd for this event.
Maybe he's right.
As we sit here and record this program, we don't know what the final number is going to be, but I wouldn't get all that hung up on that number.
I think this is all about Kansas City front and center on an international stage and the kind of attention that comes with it.
It's the exposure for Union Station, for the National World War One museum and memorial.
I think those are the things that are important.
Things to do.
On a newscast today.
Some people lined up as early as 5 a.m. to get inside those doors.
And I assure you, all of them hadn't downloaded the app yet.
I went to a conference last year in August where I had to download an app, you know, when I downloaded it as I was going into my first seminar.
I think so many people do things at the last minute.
They wait until the day they're going to go to do that.
I think we also fall short of the 300,000 expectation.
However, you know, this flyover city is now being noticed.
Folks are coming in and that is the huge benefit that you really can't measure as.
Long as this is a clean, well-run event with few problems.
I think that's also important.
We've been told this is going to be the biggest stage ever at the NFL draft, but does it matter if we don't get to the 300,000?
Kevin I think we're already reaping the huge economic benefit from everything I know.
Every hotel room in the metro is booked.
Some people were saying towards the end you were having to pay 500 bucks to get a room.
You know, the restaurants, I think we're already seeing it.
Whether we hit that number, I don't know.
But I do think right now already the economy has benefited tremendously from this whole thing.
Now, we were told to expect protests first over continuing anger at the recent shooting of a 16 year old black teen who rang the wrong doorbell in Kansas City's North land.
Then from Native American groups wanting to use the national spotlight to put the squeeze on the Chiefs to change their name.
But could we have expected to also be embroiled in transgender politics with calls for a mass boycott?
Because the draft's presenting sponsor is Bud Light?
If you haven't been following the story, a number of conservative groups have been urging fans not to go all watch the NFL draft after Bud Light made transgender influence, said Dylan Mulvaney, a brand ambassador.
This month, I celebrated my day 365 of womanhood, and Bud Light sent me possibly the best gift ever a can with my face on it.
Now, there are several stories that Bud Light has seen a 17% drop in sales since its decision.
The company now also actually dealing with bomb threats.
Any evidence the boycott is going to depress turnout in Kansas City?
And could God have a beer, people?
You know, the one thing I will say about sports is that it tends to be the great unifier in life.
And so you can be sitting next to someone at almost any sporting event who disagrees with you politically or might disagree with you in any realm of conversation we could have.
But we're all still there rooting for the Chiefs.
I think at the end of the day, this is a unifying event for our city.
Not that those issues aren't important.
I just don't think we're going to see that.
I think Kansas City is coming together for this event.
I think even if there are protesters, you won't be able to see them.
There's such a huge perimeter fence around and you have to have some sort of access via the app or or registration, whatnot, that it won't really matter.
And like Tom Pendergast says, if people are thirsty, they're going to drink regardless.
They going to drink.
Is free, but you don't get free beer and food when you're in.
Okay, well, this is a program about a month ago, long time panelist Dave Helling said that when the NFL draft is in town, it would be the perfect time for the Chiefs to reveal its ideas for what should happen at the Truman Sports complex now that the KC Royals are hell bent on moving to a new home downtown.
Well, the draft is still going on, and the evidence of groundbreaking announcement from the Chiefs is about to take place.
Kevin, I have not heard anybody say that they expect any kind of imminent announcement.
Of course, this may air and I'll be looking like an idiot, but.
I will replay right in the next exactly saying yes.
In fact, what I'm hearing right now is it's becoming increasingly unlikely there's going to be a sales tax extension vote in August simply because we're just getting too close to the deadline when that has to be put on the ballot and nothing is going to go forward until we know what the chiefs want, because this is a two team endeavor to figure out whether we're going to be able to raise the sales tax or continue the sales tax.
There's the fact that the royals are having a lousy season.
Also chill the heels of John Sherman to want to put this on the ballot.
Or does the fact that they're having a losing season matter at all in that context?
I think winning baseball in this particular context helps.
But in terms of whether people vote early or nay, I'm not sure it's that big of a factor.
In the matters.
Think about this when you leave a rules game besides the Taco Bell and the Burger King, you do have a place to get a cold sandwich even if you wanted to.
And I think if you move downtown, businesses benefit from this, as do the royals.
It's kind of like Wrigley Field.
You know, for decades they were lovable losers, but they would sell out because there were so many businesses, restaurants, bars where folks can go and congregate before, during and after the games.
The chiefs are going to be on the same question.
And, you know, they are the glamor team right now.
And I think they could, you know, pretty much lead any kind of a favorable vote because people just love how they're playing, and rightfully so.
Dana, we were told again, the that this might be the time for them to make an announcement with regards to a stadium, the chiefs.
But there was also stated there was a big editorial in the Star this week saying this is the time for the Chiefs to announce a name, change any evidence that might happen.
I still don't see it.
I think that that is a tough sell in Kansas City because even though I believe and I am full disclosure, Native American all the way up and down my bloodline, I think now is not the time to have that discussion at this time.
I think there's an appetite for it.
I don't think this week is the time when everyone is so singularly focused on everything good happening in this town.
You hear the naysayers say that this was the chiefs had nothing to do with Native American imagery.
It certainly grew into that.
And I think the chiefs have done some things.
You know, you're not allowed to show up wearing Native American headdress and those types of things.
I just don't think this town has the appetite to change it.
Now, whether or not the leadership does is another another question.
But if you had somebody like Patrick Mahomes say, you know, this is time for a change, would not change the entire calculation on.
This if but I doubt if something like that were to happen.
And today this point the Chiefs are named after Russell Bartle, then mayor of Kansas City.
His nickname was Chief.
So they've done stuff with the imagery.
Get away with the headdresses.
Warpaint is eliminated right now.
So I think as long as they make some of those concessions, some of these.
They're still banging the drum though.
And I'm curious about the drum, what you guys think about the drum every time I see the drum and that image, I do think that maybe all the time.
Yeah, there will be conversations about that in the near future will be mentioned.
The Royals going downtown.
Hold the presses.
Could that be a new site for the Royals to consider in Johnson County?
Did you see this week, after more than a decade of broken promises, setbacks, that beleaguered Mission Gateway project along Shawnee Mission Parkway, it's going into foreclosure.
So if they can't move forward with plans to turn it into an entertainment mecca with a movie theater, zip lines and laser tag, is this an opening for John Sherman to put a new ballpark over on the Kansas side of state line and get the land for pennies on the dollar?
They did try an aquarium a while ago, you know, but I really doubt highly.
I do think, though, on a more serious note, this may be finally the kind of make or break point with this whole mission because the developer.
Has been clear that they should make a break, though, for the last time.
I know, but I.
Mean, what will happen is the banks will take over the property.
They will sell it to somebody who can then have the wherewithal and ability to make something happen there.
I mean, for all this time, it's been the developer in the town, the developer in the town.
Now the banks are involved and that's a whole new angle that that could very well dislodge the.
Birds before children.
I have had two successful careers right there on Shawnee Mission Parkway.
Other presidents have come and gone.
What does this developer have on the city of mission?
What is it in the back of his office drawer?
There is no way anyone else would have let this go on for 618 year.
Just do you has to.
What should the chiefs be there?
Should the royals be there?
Just put a park there.
We have to drive by that every single day.
We've had countless generations that only know that place as a dump, as a job.
And, you know, while a seven and 19 Royals club could probably benefit downtown, there's no benefit there.
I'm probably one of the few people at this table old enough to remember when you could shop.
There it was.
I didn't you.
I shop there, too.
And I love and I love the restaurants that were in that, too.
We loved it, too.
Now, in an interview with This week, one city official said the NFL draft event is so big, it's going to take 7 to 10 days to restore Union Station and its surrounds to its pre-draft glory.
Once that happens, we'll be asking, what's our next big event?
What is Kansas City's next big project?
Now we know we have the World Cup in 2026, but is work on a new downtown ballpark going to come up first or is it the push to cover the highway downtown and slap an urban park on top of it?
All of the above, you know, because, you know, the event with the World Cup is obviously going to be another massive infusion of people and attention to Kansas City.
These other two are very much local issues.
They're making progress on the south loop deck.
And, you know, Sherman is going to keep pushing this downtown ballpark idea.
So I don't think we need to make a choice.
I think because this is a growing dynamic community, we're going to be able to go through all these things.
Andrew Campbell We have to note, though, this this is a trial run.
The NFL draft is a trial run for the World Cup.
You think about 2026, think about soccer being the most popular sport in the world.
Half of the world watched the World Cup last time.
And by the time the World Cup is here, we'll also have that stadium for the KC Current.
We'll have several training complexes for several of the countries playing here.
This is a trial run right now for the big event.
But we do have to keep all this other wheels in motion.
And don't worry about crowds coming for the World Cup once they'll be here.
Does anyone else feel like Kansas City?
Is that town where you don't even know what you want until we have it?
And then you go, Oh yeah, that was a good idea.
Everyone complains all the time, but it's true.
The streetcar, the airport, all at power and light.
If you go back through the history of this town, you want to park over that highway, you just don't know it yet.
Yes, it is.
And once it's there, I mean, it's going to go back to the years ago.
Chris, you did an interesting story this week when you were with Josh Costello going behind the scenes at Union Station, reminding us that back in the eighties this was shuttered completely and this we may not have even had this facility that might have been demolished.
Union Station, I think, is one of the great comeback stories of Kansas City.
And there are those of us who, again, old enough to remember when Union Station was was shut down, was empty, was falling apart.
There was a Kansas City Star senatorial, I think, in 1985 which said, just tear it down.
It's been it's been a disaster.
We can't fix it.
Just let's cut and move on.
And thank God that didn't happen.
Thank God for by state.
And I think arguably right now, Union Station is in its best place in decades.
And in 1996, of course, that the first time and the only time voters in on can in Kansas and Missouri at the same time came together for a collective project and said, we want to support it never happened again.
Though this nation is still.
Well, and what's really wonderful is it has become the civic centerpiece for all these major events the Royals, World Series, the Chiefs, Super Bowls, the huge 100th anniversary party they had.
It is definitely Kansas City's pride and joy and place for people to gather and feel good vibes about our community.
And if and if the new Casey is Kansas City's front door, I would maintain that Union Station is its living room.
And Kansas City PBS is its lounge and we are thrilled to be part of that with you all.
The NFL draft has disrupted a lot of normal life in Kansas City, including our parking lot right here.
We had to post a police officer right here so you can even get here because people want to cheat to get in our parking lot to go to the draft, but just up the road from us.
But also it cuts decision making at city hall.
This week's Kansas City Council session was canceled.
That meant there were no action on a proposal this week to make Kansas City a transgender sanctuary city.
Did you see that story?
The move comes as Kansas and Missouri moved to tighten restrictions on transgender residents.
How would that even work, Dana?
Well, first of all, I want to point out that sign that says don't legislate hate.
That's exactly what they're doing.
And if you look at the suicide rate for transgender kids, I wish they would look at those numbers instead of the numbers about an athlete here or there.
And I'm not saying that's not important.
I understand that's a debate to be had.
And Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, for instance, this week overrode on a veto of a bill that will make sure that transgender Kansans have to go to bathrooms and locker rooms that fit their biological sex, that was a big part of a belt will become law in July.
Laura Kelly had said that, you know this she made a business case against this, saying, you know, businesses are not going to come here, but where's the evidence of that?
We see a Panasonic still moving forward with its plans in Johnson County.
We just had the draft World Cup is still coming here.
I only overstated what the impact is on business when these types of laws are put in place.
I do think anecdotally that economic development development officials will tell you that it makes it hard to persuade a company, a headquarters company, not a manufacturing plant or a warehouse, but a company that employs, you know, well-paid, younger staff that they'll want to come to a place like this because they feel it's a hostile environment.
And all you have to do is look at places like Denver and, you know, California.
As much as the Republicans love to vilify California, most businesses still like to be there because they like the business climate.
They like the ability to attract good workers.
And just on a larger note, it's just unfortunate.
This is just another rematch of urban areas versus states dominated by rural legislatures.
And you see it all over, particularly the Midwest, where you've got cities like Kansas City and Saint Louis and Omaha and Des Moines and Minneapolis dealing with legislatures dominated by rural interests who really don't seem to get it, that the economic juice for their states come from these.
But what is the evidence, though?
It's actually hurting them because we other than the Olympics, we brought everything to town.
I don't know that we know the evidence, because typically when when states are trying to attract companies to their particular cities, to headquarters, as Kevin says, we don't know really how those negotiations really go, whether we know when they're successful, but we don't know when they're a failure.
While Laura Kelly, by the way, has spent much of the session rejecting pretty much everything lawmakers have sent to her desk in Topeka, she has approved some of their ideas.
She approved the first presidential primary in Kansas in more than 30 years.
After three decades, the state is abandoning the cumbersome caucus process and letting voters weigh in directly at the ballot box.
Mark your calendar.
The bill establishes March 19th of 2024 as the Kansas presidential primary.
As it stands right now, there will be as many as 23 states, Chris, ahead of Kansas to vote as it is it worth the $5 million price tag when what Kansans think may not matter much at that point?
Well, that depends on who you talk to, I suppose not that that's going to change the political outcome in Kansas at the presidential level any time soon.
You want to feel like your voice matters, Right?
You know, and I think that's the talk right.
There now, before we head to our Big Story Miss segment, I have to say that last week's program where we delve further into the shooting of Rafael prompted the most polarizing viewer response.
I think I've ever had on this program in more than 20 years of hosting this show.
Tony in Kansas City called it the worst episode ever.
Pamela in Overland Park called it the greatest episode of all time.
Now, are there any updates to the story this week other than Matt Lucas continuing to appear on one national news show after another about this and KC current players now wearing armbands at their games this week to support Ralph?
No, we just wait to see what happens in the courts, which is not.
Going to be until June.
And a lot of folks don't realize what empathy what role empathy plays in all this.
Instead of roll your eyes, how about rolling up your sleeves and helping folks out in our community?
The one thing I will say about Ralph Carol, God bless that child in his family.
This week I want to give a shout out to Staley High School.
They asked everyone to send cards and letters and they delivered the first batch to Ralph's family yesterday, and they wanted 2000.
Their goal was 2000 cards and letters.
They shattered that number and all of that goodwill was passed on to his family yesterday.
There are good people that do care in this community, but sometimes you got to look to find the light.
Where do you put a program like this together every week?
You can't get to every big story grabbing the headlines.
What was the big story we missed?
Was Travis Kelce the biggest personality of the week as he brings Kansas City, his famous podcast and the Kelsey Jam buried in NFL draft coverage was Liberty Memorial lighting up the Missouri State Board of Education, shutting down one of Kansas City's oldest charter schools.
Genesis served some of the city's neediest kids, but state regulators say it repeatedly failed to meet academic standards.
The NFL draft cancels this week's city council session.
It's a reprieve for city manager Brian Platt, now facing an imminent no confidence vote.
Jackson County lawmakers hit the pause button on a new jail, and I'm proposing a public vote on the project amid spyware.
Link construction costs and go ahead and throw away your bed, Bath and Beyond coupons.
The retailer has stopped accepting them as it announced it's shutting down all of its stores, including its four in the Metro.
It going out of business sale is now under way already.
Dana, I'm sure I know you had a drawer full of those 20% off, but Mount Clemens, was that the biggest story?
Please tell me that is not the biggest deal.
That's the biggest story in your world.
You know, I.
Am angry about.
I did pick something completely different.
I think we have to have a conversation after the draft gets out of here about how our cities and our counties communicate with one another, or in this case, do not.
When an inmate that has shot three police officers in Kansas City, Kansas, in Wyandotte, goes to the hospital, ends up in Platte and then walks out on misdemeanor traffic charges, this man is still on the loose and everyone's going, well, we're going to have an investigation and figure out how that happened.
We have so many cities and so many counties in this metropolitan area.
Can we not do a better job keeping track of people that shoot at police?
I will go with the Jackson County jail story.
I think Mike Hendrix had a great job in The Star the other day.
It is just unbelievable the incompetence at Jackson County.
I really I'm not a cynic by nature, but I'm just kind of getting more and more convinced they can't seem to get anything right, whether it's assessing people's taxes.
But the fact that they have this massive endeavor, it's been looking them in the face now for a decade, at least because of all the lawsuits that they start a project and then they can't even figure out how big it's going to be, what it's going to look like and where the money is going to come from.
The news is just emerging about the passing of a great Kansas City, and Karla Cappo has passed away.
He loved Kansas City.
Kansas City loved him back.
His civic accomplishments.
The resume is as his as long as the river.
He's somebody who will be truly missed in this town.
Kevin Holmes Dana, you stole my idea.
However, I was also in Kansas City, Southern and Canada Pacific merging weeks after that merger.
It's announced that there may be competition to that $31 billion merger as well to try and build another railway that's just as expansive as this one that now stretches from Canada all the way down to Mexico.
Also, the deaths of Jerry Springer and civil rights leader, activist, singer, actor Harry Belafonte.
And on that, we will say our week has been reviewed thanks to 41 news anchor Kevin Holmes and Kevin Collison of Citizen Casey and 2 to 6 weekdays on Dana and Parks on KMBC, Dana Wright and most nights on KMBC nine news Chris Katz And I'm Nick Haynes from all of us.
Well, you know what?
You don't work seven nights a week out on Nick Haines.
From all of us here at Kansas City, PBS, be well.
Keep calm and carry on.