Jackson County's outstanding credit rating is paying off, adding up to big savings for the county's taxpayers.
Taking advantage of lower interest rates, Jackson County is refinancing up to $360 million in bonds issued in 2006 to renovate the stadiums at the Truman Sports Complex. This move will save approximately $32 million in interest.
"We're proud to be able to save the taxpayers millions of dollars," said Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders. "This will ensure that we can properly maintain these taxpayer assets and give our teams the support they need to remain competitive."
The savings from lowering the interest rate on the bonds will be utilized for the long-term maintenance of the Truman Sports Complex facilities, Kauffman and Arrowhead Stadiums.
The refinancing was possible due to the high quality of Jackson County's credit rating with Moody's, a leading provider of credit ratings, research and risk analysis. In giving Jackson County a high rating, Moody's has cited two "strengths":
- "Large and diverse economy; population and employment hub of western Missouri/eastern Kansas"
- "Healthy financial operations supported by conservative budgetary practices"
In 2011 Jackson County's underlying credit rating was reaffirmed due to the county's strong financial outlook. That rating, as well as the reaffirmation of the bond refinancing this month, proved crucial in obtaining the lower interest rate.
"The timing couldn't be more perfect, given the excitement surrounding our teams, especially the postseason play of the Royals," said County Executive Sanders.
"This is another winning move."
Jackson County owns the Truman Sports Complex. The county leases Kauffman Stadium to the Kansas City Royals and Arrowhead to the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Jackson County Sports Authority oversees the complex's operations. The refinancing will result in no change in the leases between the county, the teams and the Sports Authority.
In April of 2006 county voters approved renovations to both stadiums.
The $250 million renovation to Kauffman Stadium, which was completed on budget and on schedule (in time for Opening Day 2009), included adding administrative offices, new club and premium seating, new suites, a Royals Hall of Fame (in left field), a restaurant (in right field), a children's activities center, new restrooms, new concessions, and a 140-foot tall high-definition scoreboard.
After its extensive $375 million renovations, also completed on budget and on scheduled (in time for the 2010 season to kick off), Arrowhead Stadium was significantly enhanced. The concourses were widened 60 percent, the number of suites grew from 80 to 126, and the Chiefs "Hall of Honor" was constructed.
"The voters of Jackson County essentially made it possible to make two stadiums opened more than 40 years ago brand new facilities all over again," said Sanders.