Photo of downtown Kansas City, Missouri. 

Image Credit: NOAA Photo Library (CC BY 2.0)

Several years ago, the Kansas City Royals conducted a study that examined the viability of building a stadium in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. The Kansas City Royals have played their home games at Kauffman Stadium since 1973, which is located on the Harry S. Truman Sports Complex several miles from downtown. New Kansas City Royals owner John Sherman recently stated that he is open to exploring the idea of building a new stadium for the Royals in downtown Kansas City.

The Kansas City Royals’ lease with Jackson County will expire in 2031. In 2006, local taxpayers approved of a small tax increase that would pay for renovations to Kauffman Stadium as well as the adjacent Arrowhead Stadium (home of the Kansas City Chiefs). $575 million was raised to help complete those two projects. Sherman reiterated that a new downtown stadium would have to be built with a combination of private and public dollars that is convenient for everyone. Construction of a downtown stadium is estimated to cost more than $800 million to complete. If the city wants a downtown ballpark, plans would have to be made in the immediate future before the team’s 2031 lease with Kauffman Stadium expires.

Photo of Kauffman Stadium and Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

Image Credit: Carvex-Wikimedia Commons

At the moment, the East Village section of Kansas City seems to be the most viable option for a downtown stadium. The area is located northeast of City Hall and is still largely underdeveloped. The East Village is currently owned by VanTrust Real Estate LLC. Other potential sites for a new stadium include the North Loop area and a hilltop area near Cambridge Circle and Boulevard Brewery.


To follow the trend that other Major League Baseball teams are following, it would be advantageous for the Kansas City Royals to explore the idea of building a mixed-use development adjacent to the new stadium. Mixed-use developments compliment the stadium with businesses such as bars, restaurants, retail shops, hotels, and residential living. Ballpark Village has served as an excellent addition to Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

John Sherman, controlling owner of the team via a local investment group, purchased the Kansas City Royals from David Glass last fall. J.E. Dunn Construction Co, and Mariner Kemper are part of the Kansas City Royals ownership group as well. Sherman is the founder of LPG Services Group which later merged with Dynegy.  


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