Royals say they’ll announce location of new stadium in September

Artist renderings of a potential downtown ballpark released by the Kansas City Royals
Artist renderings of a potential downtown ballpark released by the Kansas City Royals(Kansas City Royals)
Published: Jul. 25, 2023 at 11:25 PM CDT
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JACKSON COUNTY, Mo. (KCTV) - Since 1973 Kauffman Stadium, the home of the Kansas City Royals, has sat in Jackson County.

“The citizens of Kansas City, Jackson County, and throughout our region have really done a lot to ensure that the team actually stays in Jackson County,” said former KC City Council Member Jermaine Reed.

Reed hopes it has been enough to keep the team in Jackson County, as they plan on relocating to a new spot within the metro.

In a letter to fans from Royals Owner John Sherman, he said the new location will be announced in late September.

It’ll be one of two places: A new ballpark district across the river in North Kansas City or a spot in the East Village in downtown Kansas City.

“I think we’ve jumped ahead,” said David Slater, the Executive Director of the Clay County Economic Development Council. “I think people hear the horror stories about coming across the bridge... When they actually come across, they say, ‘That wasn’t so bad.’ You come down here to North Kansas City, it is the newer Crossroads and it’s a lot of fun. There is a lot of activity. It’s just going to be a really cool place for a stadium.”

Reed had some thoughts about a downtown location.

“The impact to the Kansas City local economy and downtown Kansas City would be huge,” Reed said. “If you look at other major cities across this country where ballparks are located downtown and the central city, it has had an enormous impact.”

Royals Owner John Sherman said he’ll have many more details and renderings for both sites in about a month.

“I would certainly welcome it to the first district,” said Jackson County Legislator Manny Abarca. “It would be right down the street here and within my legislative district.”

With that being said, Abarca has a major concern with regard to the cost.

Sherman said the entire stadium and ballpark district project would cost $2 billion and that the club will commit to only $1 billion in private funding.

“You’re talking about over 50 million dollars annually of taxpayer money that could be going to an assortment of other things,” said Abarca. ”The reality of them flirting with Clay County creates alternative ideas as to what we do with those dollars. Whether it goes here or there, the reality is people will still be coming to Kansas City no matter what.”

As for the folks in Clay County, Slater said: “Not a whole lot of gray area. People are either for it or against it. I think it will work really good right now.”

The Royals lease at Kauffman isn’t up for another eight years.

The Royals owner says the project for building the stadium will take about three years to complete.