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'It'll be different,' KU home football games to be played in Kansas City this season

KU football in KC
Posted at 6:09 PM, Apr 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-12 19:09:26-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas Jayhawks won't play any home games this fall at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

Their home games will be in Kansas City as Memorial Stadium undergoes renovations.

Construction plans include a reimagined stadium, plus new retail and dining options.

Fans will watch their team play four games at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium and two games at Children's Mercy Park.

Students are divided about the upcoming KU football season.

“I’m really excited,” KU student Adam Woods said.

“I’m just upset,” KU student Emily Sirtak said.

But students and Lawrence businesses alike agree it will be different.

“Game days are a big part of our business,” said Ryan Owens, Jock Nitch general manager.

The popular store sells KU gear to fans that pack Mass Street on game days.

“Will it be a minor setback for the next few months? Yes, but in the long term, next year is going to be unbelievable, it’s going to be awesome,” Owens said.

He said they’re prepared to ramp up online shopping to make up for the lack of in-person customers.

“Since they’re moving the football games to the Kansas City area, that kind of leaves a hole for us here,” Lynda Allen said.

Allen, who manages Airbnb’s in downtown Lawrence, said she’s already noticing the decline in fall bookings.

“And it’s not just the ones downtown," she said. "I think it’s also the ones closer to the stadium…just all over town."

Opinions and state lines alike are divided over this.

“It’ll be difficult, but we understand the necessity," Owens said. "You’ve got to play somewhere. There’s nothing really here that will be big enough to be able to accommodate that.”

But they’re all united through their love for college football.

Bonnie Lowe, President and CEO of the Lawrence Chamber, shared a statement with KSHB 41.

“We have listened and heard the concerns from our business community, and while we all would rather be cheering on the Jayhawks at Memorial Stadium, we understand that growth of this magnitude comes with challenges. We have an opportunity for our businesses to showcase what they’re known for – their innovation and creativity – in finding fun, new ways to watch and celebrate KU Football. When we think about the new stadium, the Gateway District, and the conference center on the horizon for Lawrence, we will be well posed for future success.”