Royals to announce site of $2B ballpark district in late September

Renderings, new details of two proposed locations to come in next 30 days
Royals Owner John Sherman June 29 2023.jpg
Posted at 8:33 AM, Jul 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-25 20:29:37-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The new location of the Kansas City Royals' ballpark district is set to be announced in late September, Royals Chairman and CEO John Sherman announced in a letter Tuesday.

The Royals will give an update on the ballpark district in the next 30 days — giving an overview and detailed renderings of the two sites under consideration, one in Kansas City, Missouri's East Village district and the other in North Kansas City.

Sherman previously said the East Village location would be 20 acres and a more vertical project, while the NKC site would be 80 acres and more horizontal.

"We are putting both sites through an equally rigorous process," Sherman said. "We look forward to unveiling detailed renderings and many other components that will help us compare the broad benefits of both sites."

Royals ballpark potential sites
Proposed sites of the Kansas City Royals' new ballpark complex.

It's a project Sherman said will help the Kansas City region in the long run by creating community impact, generating economic activity and opening the door for "greater opportunity for the citizens of our region."

According to Sherman's letter, the $2 billion ballpark and entertainment district is set to generate more than 20,000 jobs, $2.8 billion in total economic output, $1.4 billion in labor income and $185 million more in regional economic output in its first year than Kauffman Stadium produces.

The team will rely on some public tax dollars to pay for the project.

In 2006, Jackson County voters approved a 3/8 cent sales tax for 25 years. The tax dollars help maintain the Truman Sports Complex, which houses Kauffman Stadium and GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.

Jackson County or Clay County require voter approval to modify or implement a new tax for the new stadium. The deadline to get a question on November's ballot is late August.

Sherman's plan to announce a location in September means counties will have to wait until the April 2024 election to put a question to voters.

It's unclear how much money a new or modified tax proposal would collect. The Clay County site is located in an enterprise zone which qualifies developers for additional property tax breaks.

“I’m actually really excited about the potential for the Royals stadium to be up here," said George McMillian, who lives in the Northland.

Construction of the project is expected to take at least three years.

The chairman also said the team's ownership group will invest over $1 billion "to help create transformational growth" and improve the ballpark experience.

With the Royals 29-73 in the 2023 season, Sherman acknowledged that he feels the pain with players, fans and the community that the team is not where it wants to be, but he also said he is committed to bringing change.

"We're intensely committed to restoring the Royals to their rightful place in Major League Baseball, and we will do what's necessary to see that through," Sherman shared in his letter. "We're just getting started here."