T-Bones to become Kansas City Monarchs

The Kansas City T-Bones baseball team will take on a new name, the Kansas City Monarchs, according to an announcement today.

The announcement from the Negro Leagues Museum was Thursday morning.

The Monarchs name, a historic Negro Leagues team, had not been in use except for its historical presence in the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

It wasn’t easy to turn over the Monarchs name, Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball, said.

“It is all about how do we make history right, and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” he said.

When young players put on the Monarchs uniforms, the legends of Satchel Paige and Buck O’Neil will live on, he said.

The name change and terms of the agreement were announced at a press conference at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Kansas City, Missouri, with Kendrick, T-Bones owner Mark Brandmeyer, NLBM board members and officials. The team will play beginning with the 2021 season at the former T-Bones stadium in Kansas City, Kansas, according to the announcement.

Kansas City Monarchs were the longest-running franchise in Negro Leagues history. Founded in 1920 and based in Kansas City, Missouri, the Monarchs won 10 league pennants and the inaugural Negro League World Series Championship in 1924. When the team was disbanded in 1965, it had produced more major league players than any other Negro League franchise, museum officials said..

“This exciting partnership celebrates Kansas City’s rich baseball heritage and becomes an important extension of the work we’re doing to educate the public about the history of the Negro Leagues,” said Bob Kendrick, NLBM president, in the announcement. “We are thrilled that the proud legacy of the great Kansas City Monarchs will take the field again and look forward to sharing our story through a myriad of opportunities made possible through this historic alliance.”

Working with long-time fans, brand agencies and the league office, the T-Bones spent several months engaged in extensive research and considered over a dozen potential new team names. Monarchs quickly emerged as the favorite and most inspiring name.

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and Brandmeyer’s MaxFun Entertainment, LLC have signed a long-term licensing agreement which will allow for use of the Monarchs Baseball Team name, according to the announcement.

The collaboration will create a sustainable, long-term revenue stream for the NLBM not-for-profit and include cross-promotion via a satellite Negro Leagues Baseball exhibit at the stadium, according to the announcement. The exhibit will eventually be a part of a travelling exhibit that will accompany the team to baseball stadiums around the country. The team also has plans to establish The Monarchs Youth Academy with a mission to enrich the lives of Kansas City urban youth through baseball and softball.

“Being entrusted to carry on the Monarchs legacy is truly a dream come true,” said Monarchs owner Mark Brandmeyer. “We are committed to creating a world class experience on and off the field, and the historical and cultural significance of this team’s name will be reflected in everything we do. We will essentially be a travelling billboard for the museum and their mission. And if we can help educate and at the same time field a team our city and the museum can be proud of, that’s our goal.”

Unified Government Mayor David Alvey, speaking at the announcement, said that it will mean people from both Kansas Citys, and across the American Association, will learn about the historic Negro Leagues and the players who gave so much.

He said when Brandmeyer purchased the team, Alvey was encouraged by the vision he had for the team.

“I am so looking forward to the displays that will be at the stadium,” Alvey said, and the traveling exhibits that will go to other ballparks across the American Association.

“Those stories have to be told,” Mayor Alvey said. “Those lives must continue to be celebrated. We need dthat to sustain us on our journey.

“We are honored to be a part of your efforts to celebrate the glory of these athletes, we are honored and humbled that a team will take the field wearing a Monarchs jersey, and we will cherish that name as a sacred trust,” Mayor Alvey said.

“The American Association could not be more proud of the Kansas City membership to adopt the famous Monarchs brand. Between the American Association, the Negro Leagues and Major League Baseball, Kansas City has a deep baseball history and this rebrand helps bring that back to today’s baseball fans in an American Association team. We look forward to helping the Kansas City Monarchs and the Negro Leagues Museum educate a new generation of fans through the team’s participation in the American Association,” said American Association League Commissioner, Joshua Schaub.

Fans can engage with the Kansas City Monarchs team via the new team website at www.monarchsbaseball.com and on Facebook (Kansas City Monarchs Baseball), Instagram (@kc_monarchs), LinkedIn (Kansas City Monarchs Baseball), Twitter (@kscitymonarchs) YouTube (Kansas City Monarchs Baseball) and can join in the conversation using the #ReignReborn and #SeeYouAtTheBallpark hashtags.

T-Bones postpone baseball season until 2021

T-Bones baseball in Kansas City, Kansas, has been postponed this season and will resume in 2021, according to an announcement today from the club.

The T-Bones’ new owners, who announced several improvements since taking over, will have to wait another season to begin playing baseball. A spokesman said they will continue to make improvements at the stadium in the meantime.

“We were excited for the opportunity to play baseball in 2020,” Mark Brandmeyer, T-Bones owner said. “Unfortunately, it will now take another year for our visions to be realized.

“We purchased the team to take the field – and we are still going to do that, just not on our original timeline. In the interim we will be preparing to host our team and fans in 2021 and will
continue making improvements to stadium infrastructure to enhance our game day experience,” he said.

In the T-Bones’ league, the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, half of the 12 teams will play a shortened season starting July 3. The T-Bones are not part of the group that will get to play this year.

Those teams were selected on geography, local COVID-19 restrictions and potential ability to return home based on the state’s phasing plan to reopen, according to a spokesman. All of the teams have locations north of the T-Bones.

Those who have purchased tickets for the 2020 season will either receive a complete refund or have the opportunity to apply their ticket purchase to the 2021 season, according to the spokesman.

Plan to be presented at Thursday UG meeting for new owners of baseball team at Village West

A baseball game at T-Bones Stadium on Sept. 8, 2019. A plan is in place for a new owner for the baseball team. (File photo)

A resolution to approve a five-year management agreement for the baseball stadium at Village West is on the agenda for the 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, Unified Government Commission meeting.

Max Fun Entertainment LLC would manage the baseball stadium in Village West, according to the Oct. 17 agenda, online at www.wycokck.org. The UG meeting will be held at the Commission Chambers, lobby level, City Hall, 701 N. 7th St., Kansas City, Kansas.

The UG evicted the former baseball management, the T-Bones, on Monday morning, locking the doors at T-Bones Stadium.

According to agenda information, the UG and Max Fun would make a five-year agreement, with three five-year renewal options.

Max Fun would buy and manage a new baseball team that would play home games at the Village West stadium, and would manage all other stadium operations, according to the proposed agreement.

According to the proposed agreement, Max Fun would spend at least $500,000 on capital improvements on the stadium before May 1, 2022. They also would try to develop event spaces open to the public on a year-round basis, which might include sand volleyball, pickleball courts, a sports bar or outdoor music stage. The UG will spend at least $1 million from a restricted STAR bond account that would only be expended on this stadium within two years on capital improvements to the stadium, according to the proposed agreement.

The UG, under the proposed agreement, would be entitled to 5 percent of all money derived from nonbaseball events at the stadium.

The proposed agreement stated the parties would continue to split the cost of utilities at the stadium for the first year of the agreement. After the first year, Max Fun would take over all utility payments.

The stadium property is tax exempt, and Max Fun would pay the property taxes of the parking lot and common area maintenance, under the proposed agreement.

The agreement requires Max Fund to get a letter of credit for $100,000 to cover payments of utility charges after the first year and a surety bond to cover the capital improvements. Max Fun also would have to get a guarantor of sufficient net worth to guarantee the letter of credit and the capital improvement obligations, according to the proposed agreement.

The proposed agreement also stated the stadium would be available for local high school baseball games, use by the UG Recreation Department and the public for community events and fundraisers.

Max Fun would pay a 50-cent per ticket tax to go to improvement of park facilities in Wyandotte County, and the fund is capped at $20,000 for the first two years of the agreement.

According to documents on file with the Kansas Secretary of State’s office, Max Fund Entertainment LLC was filed as a corporation on Oct. 10, 2019. The organizer of the corporation was listed as Mark F. Brandmeyer of Leawood, Kansas.

Brandmeyer is an entrepreneur who is the principal owner at Brandmeyer Enterprises and a partner in Built, a prefab construction company, according to a news release from the UG.

The UG stated that if the UG Commission approves the management agreement, the next step will be reviewed by league officials with the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.  League approval will be the final step in Max Fun taking over ownership and operations of the T-Bones.