Kansas City, here I come might be a bit premature.
Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals franchise will be calling downtown Kansas City home, maybe. Royals owner John Sherman has it all figured out, sort of. The team will have a stadium somewhere but just where is not known yet. It is supposed to cost $2 billion to build a downtown Kansas City stadium-village but who is paying the bill is not known. But the team won’t be staying at its present home because the stadium is too old as it turns 50 on April 10th, 2023 and it doesn’t pay to sink any more money in the structure in Sherman’s opinion. “It’s becoming challenging to maintain the K,” Sherman wrote in a letter released on the team’s Twitter account, “A new home would be a far better investment, both for the local taxpayer dollars already supporting our facility and the Kansas City community.” Sherman’s Royals lease with Jackson County, Missouri ends in 2031 but Sherman would like to open up his stadium-village much sooner than 2031.
The Kansas City Royals stadium underwent a quarter of a billion dollars’ worth of extensive renovations between 2006 and 2010. There was some push to move the baseball business downtown in 2004 and 2005 when it was decided that the then three-decades old facility was too ancient to be useful. On April 4th, 2006, Jackson County, Missouri voters approved a 0.375% sales tax increase to fund plans to renovate the Truman Sports Complex’s baseball and football stadiums. The sales tax hike that allowed for the renovations ends in 2031. Owners try to get ahead and pitch the idea of getting a new stadium long before a lease is done. Sherman is doing that. In Sherman’s world 2032 is not too far away. Finding money to build a stadium-village takes a long time.
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