Negro Leagues Baseball Museum to build new facility in 18th & Vine District
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - It’s another historic day for sports in Kansas City, Missouri.
The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum announced Tuesday it is raising money to build a new facility.
“This is the right time and the opportunity for us to move forward with a very ambitious plan,” said Bob Kendrick, President of the museum. “There is a lot of pride that goes into what we announced today.”
The NLBM opened 33 years ago and some questioned whether it would succeed. Now, it will be expanding with a new 30,000-square-foot facility.
“Many of them who were constantly telling us not to build a museum here at Historic 18th & Vine and ‘it wouldn’t work,’ and here we are,” Kendrick said. “Now, it’s time to take that next step, to be a risk-taker and to build a future for this great organization.”
Kendrick was joined by Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and other museum officials when the monumental announcement was made Tuesday morning.
The new state-of-the-art facility will be built at the former Paseo YMCA, next to the Buck O’Neil Education and Research Center. That is the same building where Andrew “Rube” Foster established the Negro Leagues in 1920.
“In our society we don’t really celebrate the bridge builders; we celebrate the people that crossed over the bridge,” Kendrick noted. “But, this museum celebrates those who built the bridge.”
There will be a five-year plan to raise the funds necessary for the new museum, which will cost $25 million to $30 million. Bank of America awarded the museum their first million.
Visit KC said the new museum will be yet another reason visitors are attracted to Kansas City
“This is the first place we recommend,” said Kathy Nelson, KC Sports Commission & Visit KC CEO. “We host events here, we bring conventions and other business here. So, this is really critical for us for to grow and spotlight the city.”
The new facility will have interactive displays, a gallery to showcase new exhibitions, a larger gift shop, and a more expansive archival and storage space.
“I think it will be the perfect marriage between nostalgia and technology, as we continue to instill in our young people, again, the value of diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Kendrick.
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