Kansas City is helping to fund a study of downtown sites for a Kansas City Royals ballpark, though whether the team ever makes that move remains uncertain.
Replacing Kauffman Stadium with a new downtown ballpark has long been a goal for some downtown developers. The Royals even gave some consideration to the idea of moving into a new downtown facility more than a decade ago, before Jackson County voters in 2006 approved a 0.375 percent sales tax hike to upgrade Kauffman Stadium and Arrowhead Stadium.
A new report from The Kansas City Star suggests that interest in a downtown ballpark remains. According to that story, the city was involved in funding studies of four downtown sites, with the locations comprising of two adjacent to the Sprint Center, one in East Village, and a fourth that includes several blocks beginning at the northwest corner of 8th and Main streets.
Royals senior vice president of business operations Kevin Uhlich confirmed that he was contacted about downtown ballpark proposals this year, and noted that the team’s lease with Jackson County for Kauffman Field and the Truman Sports Complex runs through 2030. More from The Kansas City Star:
Uhlich said the Royals are in a lease with Jackson County, which owns the Truman Sports Complex, that runs through 2030.
“We’re perfectly content where we are, we think it works well,” Uhlich said. “Thirteen years from now, who knows what the situation is going to be? I can’t hold anybody back from doing what they’re doing on their side. We would listen.”
Jackson County executive Frank White said the county would be willing to listen to ideas.
“The County is not advocating for, nor funding any efforts for any stadium relocation,” White said in a statement. “Of course, we have been and will continue to be, open to listening and discussing with all parties involved opportunities to grow and build these great community assets.”
For years, backers of this idea have hoped that moving the Royals into a new downtown ballpark would help to further boost development in the area. While preliminary renderings were prepared by HOK (one is shown above), officials also emphasized plenty of discussion for other areas of planning–including funding–will have to take place if a plan ever moves forward down the road.
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