Why do the Royals need a new “world class ballpark district”?

Kauffman Stadium, The K, will be nearly 60 years old when the lease expires in early 2031. It has become challenging to maintain it. Past renovations have been focused on fan experience versus long-term infrastructure.

A move to or around downtown helps keep our team and our city competitive and our economy strong. It will also keep us on pace with our peers around the league as far as the experience for our fans and city.

We are particularly proud to be a major league town – one of just 25 markets, many far larger than ours – and our ballpark and surrounding offerings must reflect that, including as it relates to improving on-field performance. Revenues accrued from any ballpark district would be used first and foremost on the on-field product. There’s no question that this activity – attracting tourists and inbound investment – can be a welcome boost to our local economy.

What locations are in the running for the ballpark district?

We have narrowed the potential list of sites and are currently evaluating 4-5 in and around downtown Kansas City. We look forward to sharing more as our process evolves. We are committed to doing it right, with broad-based community input as we go forward, including through our community meeting tour along with other conversations we have regularly having with the relevant stakeholders. In any scenario, the State of Missouri will continue to be the home of the Kansas City Royals.

There are practical business considerations with each site that we must first evaluate toward determining whether they are viable before we are public about them. Those include engineering, land availability, transportation, and community impact, among other metrics.

Wherever we play baseball, we will seek out efforts that result in real and measurable 1) community impact, 2) economic growth, and 3) an enhanced quality of life for the citizens of our region, with particular emphasis on historically under-represented members of our community.

What would be included in a new ballpark district?

This is a historic project, the largest proposed public-private development in Kansas City history. As currently envisioned, it is expected to be $2 billion for the ballpark district in its entirety.

The district could include local restaurants and shops, office spaces, hotels, and a variety of housing opportunities accessible for Kansas Citians from all walks of life. Affordable housing options will be important to our efforts. We would also work closely with our local transportation leaders to ensure that public transportation options accommodate a new ballpark district.

We want to construct a world-class experience in a new ballpark district – one that is woven into the fabric of our city, and can not only host 81 games a year, but serve as a 365-day hub of activity, consisting of events and concerts, and becoming a landmark for our region.

How is the new Royals ballpark district beneficial to the Kansas City economy?

There are tremendous economic possibilities for the new ballpark district, both in the short term and long term. Construction of this new ballpark district could create a total of 20,000 jobs, $1.4 billion in labor income, and an estimated $2.8 billion in total economic output, as well as spur additional adjacent investment as a year-round hub of activity.

We anticipate that the inaugural year of the new ballpark will drive approximately $185 million more in regional economic output than The K does today. Greater regional visitation will sustain more than 600 new jobs, and spending at the new ballpark district and across the region will drive more than $60 million in new tax revenue over the first decade.

A new ballpark can also spur meaningful new investment around it. New development around the ballpark could attract 2,200 onsite jobs, with employment representing $200 million in annual labor income and more than $500 million in annual economic output.

How is public engagement being used to inform decisions for the new ballpark district?

All the input we receive will help inform the decisions we make on everything from small touches in a new stadium to the overall ballpark district. This input will help us achieve the goals of real and measurable, 1) community impact, 2) economic growth, and 3) an enhanced quality of life for the citizens of our region, with particular emphasis on historically under-represented members of our community.

We have made it a priority through our community listening tour to welcome all perspectives on our potential new home. We’re continuing to meet with various advocacy groups in order to learn how this district can best serve those it’s intended for. We are in the process of developing a community advisory board made up of local leaders and will have more to share on that soon.

How will the new Stadium be funded?

There will be many funding sources to bring the new ballpark district to life, including continuing the existing public-private partnership. The Royals’ ownership group will be a significant participant, planning to invest more than $1 billion directly into the ballpark and funding all the adjacent development in the district. We would not ask Jackson County citizens to contribute any more tax dollars than they already do today, and if we play ball outside Jackson County, we would seek similar financial arrangements.

While many details remain to be worked out, we look forward to continuing our public-private partnership and beginning in earnest a discussion with Local, State, and Federal officials regarding possible additional sources of funds to help make this project a reality. As it stands, this project – the largest public-private development project in Kansas City history – would not be able to be completed as envisioned without continued public-private funding. This district is intended to directly benefit our community, and there is a public benefit commensurate with the public investment.

How will public money be used for the new ballpark district?

We are in the process of formulating our path forward and we will be sharing additional details on this as part of the process, including on construction costs and where public money will be needed.

There is already a public-private partnership in place for the Kansas City Royals and the Kansas City Chiefs at the Truman Sports Complex, which has resulted in a significant public benefit for the community as well, and we would expect that to continue, especially as we need to be able to sustain this year-round hub of activity for years to come.

The ballpark district will be more than a stadium and there will be needs for infrastructure to support it, including roads, utilities, sewage, along with highway modifications and public transportation. We are seeking public money, including additional state and federal funds, for those aspects of the project.

We believe sports teams are community assets. They are a unique source of collective pride and a catalyst for economic activity. They can bring national and even worldwide attention to a region, which everyone benefits and profits from.

How will the Royals ensure that access to games continues to be affordable?

Making baseball games and the overall experience affordable and accessible for all is something that is key for us and that is no different where we play. We will continue to work to ensure that remains the case.

Wherever we play baseball, we are constantly looking at ways to make attending a game a possibility for all. That is why we work closely with Royals Charities who partner with organizations, including schools, not for profits, veterans’ groups, and allow them to The K for a discounted rate and most times at no cost to them – to the tune of tens of thousands of tickets each year. For example, in February 2023, the club paid the ticket cost for all guests to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in the historic 18th and Vine district for the second year in a row.

The Royals are also deeply embedded in the community, through scores of partnerships; volunteer work to revitalize local playing fields; and scholarships for students, teachers, and staff.

Kauffman Stadium is one of the most beautiful stadiums in the country with a storied history. What features from The K will be integrated into the new ballpark district?

We will marry the traditions of The K with a vastly improved experience for our fans.

We envision incorporating our Kansas City fountains, the Royals’ crown, and our team’s rich traditions and history in a new ballpark district. No matter where we play ball, the district will be intertwined with the fabric of our community.’ crown, and our team’s rich traditions and history in a new ballpark district. We will marry the traditions of The K with a vastly improved experience for our fans.

What are the Royals doing to field a team that will perform better on the field?

We are excited about the core of talent we have, including the 13 rookies who made their big league debuts with us last season. As you know, our baseball operations department has undergone some changes, and we are committed to continuing to surround our homegrown talent with the best support possible.

Nothing is more important to the Royals than being competitive on the field and nothing will take away that focus. We’ve never shied away from the results and are committed to improving, and we believe that the investment into our community and ballpark will result in better performance on the field.

Exploring ballpark district plans has been ongoing for some time and during that period we have continued to invest in and attract talent on the field and in the front office.
The future of our baseball club under the new leadership of J.J. Picollo and new manager Matt Quartaro holds tremendous promise, and they are laser focused on the field efforts. We firmly believe better days are soon to come; we look forward to playing October baseball again on behalf of the great fans of Kansas City.

How will the new stadium affect traffic in and around the downtown Kansas City area? What about parking?

We are well aware that this is top of mind for many in the community, and we are making it a priority for whatever site we select. We are working with three experts with both hyperlocal and national perspectives to guide us through this project. We will also work alongside all relevant partners, including MoDOT, to address traffic and parking.

We will soon be able to share more concrete plans, but we are confident with the available parking in and around downtown Kansas City, there will be plenty of spaces and room for our trademark tailgates.