Photo of downtown Kansas City, Missouri.

Image Credit: Dean Hochman (CC BY 2.0)

For many years, Kansas City sports fans have expressed disgust in the fact that their two sports stadiums at the Truman Sports Complex (Kauffman Stadium and Arrowhead Stadium) sit several miles from downtown. Not only that, but there are virtually no bars, restaurants or hotels within the immediate vicinity of the two stadiums. The Kansas City Royals are currently funding a study that would explore possible locales for a new baseball stadium in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. A little over a decade ago, the Royals explored building a downtown stadium but that was before Kauffman Stadium was renovated.

Photo of the field at Kauffman Stadium during a Kansas City Royals game.

Image Credit: Ian Munroe (CC BY 2.0)

Currently, the proposed locations for a new downtown stadium are at the corner of 8th and Main Street, a site just east of City Hill and two plots of land near the Sprint Center. The Royals’ lease with Jackson County for Kauffman Stadium will expire in 2030. HOK, an architectural firm in St. Louis, has already put together a rendering of what the ballpark would look like (which is extremely premature). Kevin Uhlich, the team’s senior vice president of business operations, reiterated that the Royals will finish their lease with Jackson County and have no plans of moving or seeking funding for a new ballpark at the moment.

The Kansas City Star recently conducted a poll asking local fans to chime in on their opinions about the Royals building a new downtown ballpark. The poll was a flop. 64% of fans that were polled said they would not support the construction of a new stadium for the Royals prior to 2030. The poll also revealed the following about the respondents’ attitudes toward a new stadium.

  • 50% of fans would not support the construction of a new stadium even after 2030.
  • The best thing about a downtown stadium is that it would make downtown more exciting.
  • Their biggest concern about a downtown stadium would be finding parking.
  • The most ideal location for a new stadium would be a plot of land east of the Sprint Center.

A new ballpark in downtown Kansas City could spur growth to the area, which still hasn’t reached it’s full potential if you were to ask the locals. No, we’re not advocating that a new stadium would spur economic growth for all of Kansas City - just the area immediately outside of the ballpark. In all likelihood, the Kansas City Royals would advocate for a mixed-use development area to be built outside of a new stadium as well. The mixed-use development the Atlanta Braves built outside of SunTrust Park (The Battery Atlanta) has been a huge hit.

Both the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays are currently involved in a search for their future home stadiums as well. The Oakland Athletics are extremely close to choosing the location for their new ballpark; most likely the Laney College area of Oakland, California.  Both cities will have an uphill battle finding the funding needed to build a state of the art venue like Yankee Stadium (New York Yankees) or Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros).


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