Royals unveil plans for ballpark in downtown Kansas Metropolis

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By Calvin S. Nelson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas Metropolis Royals intend to construct their new downtown ballpark blocks away from T-Cell Heart and the Energy & Mild District, scrapping two ideas elsewhere within the metropolis for a location that places the stadium nearer to present leisure areas.

The Royals revealed plans for the $2 billion-plus ballpark challenge Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium, two days after the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs — whose Arrowhead Stadium shares the Truman Advanced with their present ballpark — gained their third Tremendous Bowl up to now 5 years, and sooner or later earlier than the town celebrates one other Lombardi Trophy with a parade downtown.

“That is going to be superior!!! Cannot wait!” Chiefs quarterback and Tremendous Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes wrote on X in response to renderings of the brand new Royals ballpark.

The parade route Wednesday travels alongside Grand Avenue to Union Station, or instantly previous the situation of the brand new ballpark.

“We are the second-smallest metropolis with each an NFL franchise and Main League Baseball membership,” Royals proprietor John Sherman mentioned, “and we wish to maintain ourselves as a significant league metropolis. We would like these franchises to thrive right here for one more 50 years.”

The brand new ballpark — situated in “the center of Kansas Metropolis,” per an X put up from the crew — will seat about 34,000 followers, or roughly 3,000 fewer than Kauffman Stadium, and the Royals are hopeful it could be prepared for the 2028 season. The ultimate design remains to be underneath improvement, however renderings proven Tuesday paid homage to the Ok’s swooping roof strains and iconic center-field fountains.

“The ballpark may have a very nice feeling of intimacy,” Sherman mentioned.

Kansas Metropolis began play at Municipal Stadium in 1969, then moved to Kauffman Stadium in 1973 and extensively renovated the present ballpark from 2009-12.

The Royals unveiled two different places final fall, one on the jap fringe of downtown and the opposite throughout the Missouri River in Clay County, Missouri. Each have been met with tepid response from followers, a lot of whom nonetheless love Kauffman Stadium, and political infighting ensued over the extension of a gross sales tax in Jackson County, Missouri, to assist pay for the ballpark.

The Royals’ possession group plans to take a position greater than $1 billion in personal funding for the challenge, however among the cash will come from the three/8-cent tax, which additionally will present funding that the Chiefs plan to make use of to renovate Arrowhead Stadium.

“I do know I am biased right here,” Sherman mentioned, “however between what the Chiefs can do out right here with an expanded tailgate expertise, and what we do down there, we may have two of one of the best pregame and postgame experiences in all of sports activities.”

The Royals and Chiefs pushed to place the gross sales tax on the April 2 poll, and Jackson County legislators initially accredited the referendum, solely to observe Jackson County government Frank White — a five-time All-Star and member of the Royals’ Corridor of Fame — veto the measure. Final month, two legislators modified their vote and joined 5 others in overriding the veto.

That not solely put the tax extension on the poll, it put the onus on the Royals to disclose precisely what voters might be paying for.

The brand new ballpark could be located adjoining to Interstate 670, the place the Kansas Metropolis Star’s former printing press constructing sits largely vacant, and tie collectively a number of disparate neighborhoods right into a extra cohesive downtown surroundings.

Simply to the north, the place new parks would cowl the interstate and permit for secure pedestrian site visitors, sits Energy & Mild, the house to many present bars and eating places. To the south lies the Crossroads Artwork District, a stylish enclave anchored by the Kauffman Heart for the Performing Arts. And to the east is the historic 18th & Vine neighborhood, house to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the American Jazz Museum and iconic eating places reminiscent of Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque.

“The actual fact of the matter is, we have at all times been cognizant of this website. It by no means went away,” mentioned Earl Santee, the founding father of the Kansas Metropolis-based sports activities architectural big Populous. “We checked out different websites over time, and that is my twenty third main league ballpark website, and it is timing that leads you to the tip, and that is the fitting timing for this website.”

Santee in contrast the 17.3-acre website to downtown ballparks in-built Denver, Pittsburgh and Minneapolis. There are about 20 property homeowners within the space and the Royals might want to negotiate with every of them to buy their parcels of land.

“Improvement is occurring in methods which might be participating,” Santee mentioned. “This can amplify the model of Kansas Metropolis.”

Certainly, the Royals hope the challenge continues what Sherman referred to as “a golden period” for the previous cowtown on the plains.

Over the previous decade, Kansas Metropolis has hosted two World Collection, baseball’s All-Star Recreation and the NFL draft, whereas a $1.5 billion airport opened simply over a 12 months in the past. The Kansas Metropolis Present of the Nationwide Girls’s Soccer League will open their new purpose-built stadium subsequent month on the north fringe of downtown, and Arrowhead Stadium was lately awarded six video games — together with a quarterfinal match — by FIFA for the 2026 World Cup hosted by the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

“That is about much more than only a new house for the Royals,” mentioned Brooks Sherman, Royals president of enterprise operations, who’s unrelated to the crew’s proprietor. “This generational challenge is meant for one thing nice.”

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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