NewsLocal NewsStadium Plan


What happens to businesses who lease property in footprint of proposed Royals stadium?

Experts say leases usually transfer to new owners
mat adkins.png
Posted at 6:43 PM, Feb 20, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-21 08:39:21-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Absentee voting began Tuesday in Jackson County, Missouri, on the question of whether to use a sales tax to help pay for the Royals to move to a new stadium in downtown Kansas City. Election day is April 2.

The Major League Baseball team announced last week it wants to move from Kauffman Stadium at the Truman Sports Complex to a site near east 16th and McGee streets in the Crossroads neighborhood of downtown Kansas City.

To make the move, the Royals will need to acquire about 40 pieces of property owned by more than 20 groups.

Many of the businesses in those properties lease their space and do not own the building.

The Pairing: Crossroads Wine & Grocer leases its space at 1615 Oak Street.

The co-owner said he hasn’t stopped thinking about how the stadium will impact his business since last week’s announcement.

“It’s been the only thing I’ve talked about for the last week,” Mat Adkins said. “When I wake up in the morning, it’s the first thing I think about. And it’s what I think of when I put my head on my pillow at night. It’s consuming every thing right now.”

Two commercial real estate experts who spoke with KSHB 41 News said when a property owner sells a building, the leases for tenants transfer to the new owner.

So if the Royals buy these properties, they should become landlords of the existing leases.

The Royals can then let the leases expire, offer buyouts or negotiate early terminations among other options.

The Royals hope to open the 2028 season in a new stadium.

The experts predicted it would be months, if not years, before demolition begins in the neighborhood.

So many leases might expire on their own before demolition begins.

At spring training in Surprise, Arizona, Monday Royals Chairman and CEO John Sherman said members of the team’s front office hope to meet with owners and tenants in the proposed stadium’s footprint this week.

“We’re in the process right now of sitting down with people who are affected by this and make sure they understand we’re there to help the transition and that kind of stuff,” Sherman said.

Adkins hopes Sherman or the team speaks with him, but he’s not optimistic their conversation will make a difference.

“If he [Sherman] cared about our opinion, he would’ve come talk to us before they made this announcement,” Adkins said.

His storefront is full of signs encouraging voters to choose “no” on the question. Monday, the KC Tenants group came out in opposition to the proposal.

The Kansas City Chiefs NFL team would also benefit from a “yes” vote on the question. The team said it will use the money to renovate GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, but has not offered specific details.