Change is coming to Kansas City.
After 50 years of playing in the iconic Kaufman Stadium, the Kansas City Royals have announced their intention to move to a new stadium.
In an open letter, principal owner John Sherman updated the fan base on the team’s ongoing search for venues around Kansas City.
“We are now excited to share that we have several pilot sites under close consideration, both in and near downtown Kansas City,” Sherman said.
Sherman took up the idea of renovating Kauffman Stadium, but the stadium would need an extensive facelift that would cost much more than building a new football stadium.
Kaufman Stadium is the sixth oldest in MLB and underwent its most recent renovations in 2009.
The new project is estimated to cost $2 billion, and is the most expensive public-private development project in the city’s history. Sherman added that the new project would not increase taxes for Jackson County taxpayers and would generate $60 million in new tax revenue.
Besides the stadium itself, Sherman said that a “football field area” would be created that would give fans a “fresh” surrounding area.
“We envision local restaurants and shops, office space, hotels, and a variety of housing opportunities that are accessible to Kansasans from all walks of life,” said Sherman, adding that new public transit options will be constructed for the area.
The idea of surrounding a new stadium in a modern community is not new but has become increasingly popular in recent years with Truist Park at the Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Field, and a proposed new NYCFC stadium in Willets Point, Queens.
Artist performances show off the stadium, which matches features taken from Kaufman Stadium including an overhang over the top of the grandstand, the famous outdoor water fountain, and a crown on top of the scoreboard relocated to left field. The high elevations can be seen outside with plenty of grass seating.
According to the open letter, the construction of the new stadium will create 200,000 new jobs, $1.4 billion in labor income, and $2.8 billion in total economic output.
Kauffman Stadium along with GEHA Stadium at Arrowhead Stadium make up the Harry S. Truman Sports Complex. The complex is located about 8 miles southeast of downtown Kansas City, and public transit can take up to an hour to get to the stadium.
The Royals became the third major league team to actively look for a new stadium after the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics Both of them expressed their desire to leave the current old ballparks.
The ballpark and new development area around the stadium still has a long way to go before the Royals’ lease on Kauffman Stadium expires in 2030, including completion of the site, design, and approval from Jackson County and Missouri State.
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