Royals Move To Downtown KC Moving Faster than Thought?

There is talk of building a downtown stadium by 2026.

That was quick, the Kansas City Star has reported that Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals owner John Sherman might move his team to downtown Kansas City by 2026. That seems like an awfully ambitious plan given that at this point there is no thought being given to holding a referendum that would extend the stadium sales tax that is currently being employed to maintain and pay down the debt at the Royals stadium and the Chiefs football facility at the Truman Sports Complex. Both MLB’s Royals and the National Football League’s Kansas City Chiefs franchises are playing in renovated stadiums and have nearly a decade left on their respective leases. The Royals stadium opened in 1973 and underwent a quarter of a billion dollars’ worth of extensive renovations between 2006 and 2010.

According to the Kansas City Star, there are two downtown Kansas City sites in play for a Royals stadium. On April 4th, 2006, Jackson County, Missouri voters approved a 0.375% sales tax increase to fund plans to renovate the Truman Sports Complex stadiums. Voters said no to an old idea proposed by Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt in the 1960s to build a rolling roof that could be used in bad weather at the baseball park or the football field. It was easily defeated at the polls. The sales tax hike that allowed for the renovations ends in 2031. There are nine years that remain on the Royals-Jackson County lease. That might seem like a long time but there is one thing that keeps reoccurring in the stadium and/or arena game. 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 takes a long time.

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AP Photo/Orlin Wagner