Royals postpone choosing site for proposed new stadium

Club had previously said decision would be made by end of September
Kauffman Stadium.jpeg
Posted at 10:20 AM, Sep 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-21 14:32:32-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Royals will not announce a site selection for a proposed new stadium by the end of the month as originally planned.

The club announced last November that it planned to leave Kauffman Stadium and build a new $2 billion stadium and ballpark district.

Over the summer, the Royals announced that it had narrowed down its proposed future home to two sites — one in the East Village neighborhood downtown, which is mostly parking lots at the moment, and another in North Kansas City.

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Royals Chairman and CEO John Sherman said the club would announce its preferred destination by the end of September, but amid ongoing lease negotiations with Jackson and Clay counties, that self-imposed deadline won’t be met.

The Royals have said more than $1 billion in private development money has been committed toward the $2-billion project. They've yet to outline how much in public money they will request outside of a sales-tax extension in Jackson County or new sales tax, which would generate a similar amount, in Clay County.

The Royals said the “site evaluation process is moving thoughtfully and directly” and they have “been encouraged” by discussions with leaders in both counties.

“Leaders in both counties know a critical piece of the evaluation process will be negotiated lease terms so that the Royals, our future partner, and most importantly the voters can know what to expect,” the Royals said in a statement on social media.

The club continues to eye April 2024 for a possible vote to extend the 3/8-cent sales tax in Jackson County or approve a new 1-cent sales tax in Clay County to help fund construction efforts.

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“Leaders in both Jackson County and Clay County know that we and the Chiefs need clarity on our stadium plans in time for the public to be fully informed for a vote in April 2024,” the club said via social media. “We take our responsibilities very seriously to act in the best interests of both the Royals and our region, and we will continue to work to make sure this project is done right.”

The Royals released renderings and its internal economic-impact analysis for both proposed sites last month.

Officials with the Royals have said they hope to be in a new ballpark by 2028, but the team did not self-impose a new deadline for announcing a site.

The deadline to submit a ballot question for the April 2, 2024, election is 5 p.m. on Jan. 23, 2024, according to the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office.


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Editor's note: The amount of public financing the Royals will seek for the project remains unknown as lease negotiations continue. This story was updated to reflect that after the initial publication.