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Our business environment is healthy. Year after year, through good times and bad, the metro unemployment rate and the cost-of-living rank well below national averages. Much of that is due to the area’s diverse economic base. We are a key production, distribution and service center for the Midwest. We are home base to major companies including Hallmark Cards, Yellow Freight, Farmland Industries, Sprint and Interstate Bakers. Our homegrown businesses include American Century, H & R Block and Russell Stover. We are a regional office town with outstanding office spaces in the heart of the city and spread in office parks around the edges. Agriculture is still important to us, but so are the Harley-Davidson and automobile plants, the technology companies, the big banks and all the various kinds of service businesses. We consistently rank among the top U.S. cities for supporting small businesses, and Fortune magazine ranked us among the 20 best U.S. cities for international business. We lead the world in underground storage space and are home to the world’s largest subsurface business complex. In 2000, plans for the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute were announced, launching an area-wide partnership of business and science committed to transforming this city into a national life sciences center.

We are big fans. We are hard-core supporters of our teams: We paint the town blue on opening day for our Kansas City Royals baseball team and we go all red for the Kansas City Chiefs, our football team. Both franchises play their home games at the Truman Sports Complex (Kauffman and Arrowhead stadiums, respectively), one of the nation’s best and most beautiful outdoor venues. The Kansas City Wizards play outdoor soccer at Arrowhead Stadium, and the Kansas City Comets play indoors at Kemper Arena, which they share with the Kansas City Blades of the International Hockey League and the Kansas City Knights of the American Basketball Association. In 2001 we opened the state-of-the-art Kansas Speedway, bringing national-level auto racing to town. And we are divided on the college sports scene, splitting our loyalties among the nearby Big 12 schools (Missouri, Kansas and Kansas State) and the local college teams.

We have very interesting weather (we average 38.1 inches of precipitation every year, including 21 inches of snow, and we have 51 days with thunderstorms, 39 days above 90 degrees and 22 below 10 degrees – on our hottest day ever, Aug. 14, 1936, we hit 113 degrees, and we bottomed out at minus 23 degrees on Dec. 22 and 23, 1989); five entertainment districts; great shopping all over town; 74 public school districts; and big plans for the future.