Change is coming in Kansas City.
After 50 years of playing at the famed Kauffman Stadium, the Kansas City Royals announced their intent to move to a new stadium.
In an open letter, main owner John Sherman informed the fan base of the team’s ongoing search for Kansas City venues.
“We are pleased to announce that we are reviewing several leading locations both in downtown Kansas City and nearby,” said Sherman.
Sherman accepted the idea of renovating Kauffman Stadium, but the ballpark would require an extensive facelift, which would cost far more than building a new ballpark.
Kauffman Stadium is the sixth oldest stadium in MLB and was last renovated in 2009.
The new project is estimated to cost $2 billion, which would be the most expensive private-public development project in the city’s history. Sherman added that the new venture would not raise taxes for Jackson County taxpayers and would generate $60 million in new tax revenue.
Along with the stadium itself, Sherman said a “ballpark district” would be created that would give fans a “revitalized” environment.
“We envision local restaurants and shops, office spaces, hotels and a variety of housing options accessible to Kansas residents from all walks of life,” Sherman said, adding that new public transportation options would be developed for the area. created.
The idea of surrounding a new stadium with a modern community isn’t new, but it has become increasingly popular in recent years with the Atlanta Braves’ Truit Park, Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Field, and the proposed new NYCFC stadium at Willets Point , Queens.
Artistic renderings depict the ballpark, matching features from Kauffman Stadium, including an overhang over the top of the stands, the popular outfield water fountain, and a crown atop the scoreboard that has been moved to left field. High rises can be seen in the outfield with many grassy sitting areas.
According to the open letter, construction of the new stadium would create 200,000 new jobs, $1.4 billion in labor income and $2.8 billion in total economic output.
Kauffman Stadium, along with GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, forms the Harry S. Truman Sports Complex. The complex is about eight miles southeast of downtown Kansas City and it can take up to an hour for public transportation to reach the stadium.
The Royals become the third major league team to actively search for a new stadium after the Tampa Bay Rays and the Oakland Athletics both expressed interest in leaving their current aging ballparks.
The new ballpark and development district around the stadium has a long way to go before the Royals’ lease on Kauffman Stadium expires in 2030, including finalizing the site, design, and Jackson County and Missouri state approval.