Without an imminent deadline forcing a move, a decision on the location of a new Kansas City ballpark location will be delayed, according to an announcement from Royals ownership.
The Royals had previously announced a decision on a new Kansas City ballpark by the end of September. Now, as of Sept. 21, the team is looking to push off a decision as negotiations continue with both Jackson County and Clay County officials over the cost and funding of the projects. If the team goes downtown, the new ballpark would be located in the East Village near the downtown loop, on a 27-acre site bounded by 8th Street to the north, 12th Street to the south (where the main entrance would be located), Charlotte Street to the east to Cherry Street to the west; if the team does go with North Kansas City, an 18th Avenue and Fayette Street ballpark location would be part of the 90-acre site. The target date for both locations: 2028.
Announcing a September decision was always aggressive. The next hard deadline for a ballpark decision comes in January 2024. Local voters in the county chosen will be asked in April 2024 to weigh in on the proposed funding measures (currently a 3/8 of a cent sales tax), but the deadline to make that ballot is January 23, 2024. So there’s some leeway to finalize a decision, a lease and specifics on a deal, as well as the ballot question, while missing the September deadline. And then there are the needs of the Kansas City Chiefs when it comes to potential Arrowhead Stadium renovations, which could be tied into a Jackson County ballot measure.
Here’s the full release:
Our site evaluation process is moving thoughtfully and directly, including a regular cadence of focused meetings with respected and designated negotiators with both counties in discussions on our next lease.
We’ve been encouraged by the engagement of leaders in Jackson County and Clay County, with recent meetings furthering our progress in a meaningful way. Leaders in both counties know a critical piece of the evaluation process will be negotiated lease terms so that the Royals, our future partner, and most importantly the voters can know what to expect. With the framework of our current lease and willing partners on all sides, we are optimistic that the process will result in a win-win for the Royals and our next home.
Although we will not have a site selected by the end of this month, we are more confident than ever that a world-class ballpark and surrounding district for entertainment, retail and housing will build on our region’s momentum, serve our citizens well, and further establish Kansas City as a top tier destination for tourists.
Leaders in both Jackson County and Clay County know that we and the Chiefs need clarity on our stadium plans in time for the public to be fully informed for a vote in April 2024. We take our responsibilities very seriously to act in the best interests of both the Royals and our region, and we will continue our work to make sure this project is done right.
Rendering courtesy Kansas City Royals.
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