The Royals presented new renderings and video of the two remaining proposed ballpark sites - one in the East Village, and one in North Kansas City. The team has proposed leaving Kauffman Stadium in favor of a new ballpark district closer to downtown with a total price tag of $2 billion.
The proposed East Village ballpark would sit on the east side of the downtown loop, near several government buildings, bordered by 8th Street to the north, 12th Street to the south, from Cherry to Charlotte west-to-east. The district would comprise of 27 densely-filled acres, commercially-focused with a housing component. Glass would surround the stadium, allowing passersby to be able to see inside. Videos show a pedestrian walkway across the highway. The stadium would come with parking facility to accommodate 4,000 cars.
You can find more renderings and video on the East Village site here.
The Kansas City Royals have released proposals for a $2 billion ballpark district — in either the East Village or North KC.— Front Office Sports (@FOS) August 22, 2023
Here's a look at the East Village project, via @royals: pic.twitter.com/PTHGekke7D
The North Kansas City site is just north of the river from downtown, between Armour Road and 15th Avenue, from Swift to Howell. The Royals describe that site as more “horizontal” than “vertical” like the East Village site. It would feature a conference center and hotels, office space, retail, a garden district, a park pavilion and a 4,000 person performance venue. You can find more renderings and video here.
The Royals to North Kansas City?— Sports Radio 810 WHB (@SportsRadio810) August 22, 2023
Check out the video release for the Royals' potential new stadium site in NKC. pic.twitter.com/ydocoh1Avi
The new stadium would seat 35,000 fans with room for an additional 3,500 standing-room-only. The team also said that while they would honor team founder Ewing Kauffman, the new stadium would not necessarily be named Kauffman Stadium, leaving the door open to corporate naming rights. The ballparks would have to face east to keep the sun out of hitters’ eyes, which makes it difficult to capture a downtown skyline view.
The Royals have pledged to pay for the $1 billion entertainment district, but have not specified how much public funding they would want for the ballpark itself, which would cost an additional $1 billion. Owner John Sherman talked to the media yesterday about the ballpark, saying that they hoped to extend the current 3/8 cent sales tax in Jackson County that funds the last stadium renovation at the Truman Sports Complex. If the ballpark goes to the North Kansas City site, it would require funding from Clay County, which is much less populated. A survey out this week finds Clay County voters are adamantly against a new sales tax to pay for a ballpark district.
The Royals highlighted economic benefits from a new ballpark district, projecting that in the first year alone, the district could create $117 million in increased economic activity from additional gameday experiences with $68 million in spending from tourists traveling to games for a total of $185 million in regional economic output. Overall they estimated the impact a new ballpark district could have on the Kansas City area would be the creation of 20,000 jobs, with $2.8 billion of total economic output, through additional spending from fans and increased tourism.
Sports teams and other businesses that are asking for public subsidies frequently promise big economic impact numbers that later fall short of projections. J.C. Bradbury, an economist that frequently criticizes subsidies to sports teams tweeted in response to Sherman’s claims of economic output.
“There are zero examples of where a ballpark (major- or minor-league) has transformed a community to “lift everybody’s boat” with 365 days a year of community and economic activity.”
The Royals said their goal is to get a ballot measure before either Jackson County voters or Clay County voters by April of 2024 with the hopes of opening a new stadium by 2028.
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North Kansas City