American Royal BBQ move could create Royal headache for schedule - KCTV5 News

American Royal BBQ move could create Royal headache for schedulers

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The American Royal World Series of Barbecue is traditionally held the first weekend in October, but that likely won't always be the case due to Royals and Chiefs games.

Officials were excited when they announced that the world-famous competition would move from Kemper Arena to the Truman Sports Complex. The multi-year deal is between the Chiefs' event arm and the American Royal.

Lost in the hubbub is the scheduling conflict that the competition will face in the future years with the sports complex's world-famous tenants. And there are few specifics as to what happens when the inevitable conflicts occur.

Scheduling each year will be a challenge that the parties involved will work through in order to have such an exciting event at Arrowhead, said Brad Gee, spokesman for the Chiefs.

This year's competition will be held Oct. 1-4. Schedule serendipity reigned supreme for 2015.

The Royals end their regular season on the road in Minnesota that weekend. And the Chiefs visit the Bengals on the road.

Some years the season ends at home for the Royals in late September. Other years, the regular season ends in early October like this year. And last year, the Royals were playing in the playoffs during the first week of October. And every weekend for the rest of the month.

"Sometimes the season goes into the first weekend in October and sometimes ends by September," said Toby Cook, spokesman for the Royals. "Might be something to look into when 2016 schedules come out this September."

And, of course, the Royals hope to be regular playoff participants.

Cook referred additional questions to Jim Rowland, director of the Truman Sports Complex. Jackson County owns the stadiums and leases their use to the Chiefs and Royals. The sports complex authority has day-to-day oversight of the stadiums for the county.

Under the lease between the county and the Royals, the county must provide the use of Kauffman and the surrounding parking lots for the Royals during their season, which would trump any deal that the Chiefs and sports complex have reached with the American Royal.

"The agreement to bring the World Series of Barbecue to Arrowhead Stadium at the Truman Sports Complex appears to be between the Jackson County Sports Authority and the American Royal," Jackson County officials said in a statement issued by county spokeswoman Lisa Carter. "Jackson County is not a party to that agreement, has not seen the document and therefore must direct all inquires regarding the agreement to the parties involved."

Rowland and officials for the Chiefs and American Royal said there is flexibility in when the barbecue contest is held each year.

"The American Royal will accommodate either team, " said Jeremy Povenmire, spokesman for the American Royal. "We understand they have events at the same time. We will accommodate them as need be."

When asked whether that means the barbecue contest would be held in September in some years, Povenmire said a decision hasn't been made, but he believes it would continue to be held on a weekend in the fall.

"I really wouldn't have an answer," he said. "Whichever makes the most sense."

The NFL traditionally announces the Chiefs schedule for the upcoming season in April. Rowland said the American Royal is looking at May 1 as a deadline for setting their schedule for that year.

"There is flexibility built into the contract," Rowland said. "There will never be a conflict between the Kansas City Royals, the Kansas City Chiefs and the American Royal."

Gee said the Chiefs don't anticipate asking the NFL to refrain from scheduling a home game for Arrowhead for the first week of October in an effort to accommodate the barbecue competition.

He said 2015 will be a chance for everyone to work out the logistics and how to make the event bigger and better each year.

"There is plenty of flexibility from all parties involved to get it done each year," Gee said.

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