- I love The K. Why do the Royals need a new stadium?
- But, realistically, The K is also a concrete building that’s showing its age. Those renovations would cost as much or more than building a brand new ballpark, without the added enhancement to our region.
- What would a new stadium provide that The K can’t?
- What are the Royals asking from taxpayers?
- How will the Royals make sure parking and traffic aren’t a problem with a new stadium?
- Why do you need public money? Why not just build a stadium and pay for it yourself?
- What are you committing to from a community perspective?
We love The K, too! The fountains and CrownVision are icons for both the Royals and Kansas City, and we’ve had some of our best moments here: George hugging Sabes after the last out in Game 7, Salvy reaching out and sneaking that ball down the third base line, Gordo pointing to the sky after going deep in Game 1, and so much more. No matter where we move, our new home will be one that is woven into the fabric of our city.
The required renovation would still leave higher maintenance costs for an older building detached from our urban core, with limited ability to help our region economically. It’s long been important for us to entertain all viable possibilities as to what is best for the community at large, and importantly, what will best position the Royals for generations to come. Our plan is to construct not just a new world-class ballpark, but a year-round center of activity in the form of a broader mixed-use community project, bringing an additional boost to our community and an added hub for Kansas Citians far and wide.
With this $2+ billion investment – the largest public-private development project in Kansas City’s history, as currently envisioned – experts estimate $185 million more annually in regional economic output beginning in the first year of the new ballpark than we see at The K today. Construction of this new ballpark district could create 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 and growth.
Minneapolis, St. Louis, San Diego, Denver and Washington, D.C. are just some of the Major League cities that have built new urban ballparks with surrounding entertainment districts = and none have regretted it. We believe Kansas City can build on and improve upon those precedents, giving our fans the best experience possible and out-of-town visitors the best of our hometown. We need to keep pace with our peers and provide our fan base an outstanding modern venue and experience for decades to come. A new ballpark district will help position us to compete with bigger markets on and off the field.
We also know that Royals baseball is about our fans more than a stadium, and that we’d all bring our community, our memories and history with us to a new place.
View the Populous assessment of the K.
For our city: A best-in-class experience not just for 81 (hopefully more) home games, but all year round with event space, restaurants, bars, affordable housing and more. Our vision is to construct a world-class experience, a new home for Royals fans far and wide, and one that is woven into the fabric of our city.
For our fans: John Sherman has pledged that all additional revenue generated by a move would be put back into the team, helping the Royals keep pace with the rest of Major League Baseball. As the Commissioner said last week, the economic structure of our sport means that new facilities provide a club with revenue streams that simply don’t exist in older footprints. Royals fans deserve a world-class experience to be proud of.
For our players: The newest and best spaces to develop their skills.
For a project in East Village, the Royals would seek the extension of the existing 3/8-cent sales tax that’s currently used to maintain Kauffman Stadium and Arrowhead Stadium. We estimate the Royals’ share of that tax to be around $300 million to $350 million.
For a project in North Kansas City, we would seek a similar arrangement. Each circumstance would only unfold based on a public vote. Our community will have the chance to weigh in.
In either case, we are in the process of working with local planners and leaders to gauge what the public infrastructure needs would be to support a project for Jackson or Clay County – sidewalks, water, highway exits, etc. – to be consistent with other major public infrastructure projects.
We would not ask our fans to go to a stadium that would be inconvenient or unsafe. Both sites feature access to multiple highways and paths to every part of our region. Our studies give us confidence that a new ballpark district in either site would be as or more convenient for most of our fans.
In extending the public-private partnership with our community, we are looking to ensure that the infrastructure that surrounds the district is able to support it for decades to come. That means items such as: streets, curbs, sidewalks; highway modifications; proper traffic management; water lines and utilities; and green spaces, parks and trails.
We believe the public benefit of this ballpark district will far outweigh the public investment, and also that public-private partnerships have been beneficial to both sides in the vast majority of projects around baseball and other major professional sports. This proposal – the largest public-private development project in Kansas City’s history, projected to be a $2+ billion investment as currently envisioned – is an investment directly into our community.
Royals ownership will be funding the majority of this project, including over $1 billion dollars to cover a major portion of the ballpark, alongside public funds, and the entirety of the district. This project will not be possible without public investment – as it stands via the current arrangement today.
We are committed to a Community Benefits Agreement and to be among MLB’s top tier when it comes to our diversity goals, but it’s too early to discuss specifics until a site is decided upon. But for either site, we see this development as a platform to impact positive social change, with a particular focus on the historically underserved. The urban core of KCMO will remain a philanthropic priority no matter the location of the ballpark district.
The more successful we become as an organization on and off the field, the more we will share that success with the community. Whatever we do as a major league ballclub, our owners and partners will continue to personally add to that footprint.