The Kansas City Royals are currently in a holding pattern on their decision whether to locate a new stadium in Downtown Kansas City or North Kansas City.
Last summer, the baseball club said they would announce their decision by the end of September. However, after acknowledging they would not meet that deadline, no additional information has been revealed.
At issue is an estimated $2 billion ballpark and surrounding, mixed-use district to include restaurants and other entertainment venues, as well as apartments and other development. The Jackson County location would include approximately 27 acres in and around the East Village, a largely vacant area northeast of K.C. City Hall. The North Kansas City location includes some 90 acres around the former AMF bowling center and the Gold Buffet, as well as several parking lots.
Much of the current, public discussion concerns necessary voter approval of Clay and Jackson County financing of public support for portions of the development costs. The City of Kansas City has also announced plans to hire outside consulting to help negotiations with the Royals, while Clay County is considering the idea.
Jackson County taxpayers have paid to support both stadiums for the Royals and Chiefs since they opened 50 years ago. The tax is currently 3/8ths of a cent. The Royals lease expires in 2031.
There are more complexities. Besides the public funding questions, the Kansas City Chiefs would have input, as their current lease would be impacted by a Royals’ move. Transportation, parking and other local factors have not been subject to significant public discussion that will be needed before the start of this $2-billion project.
The Royals have released an economic study that projects the economic benefits of the new stadium, done by HR&A Advisors, Inc. The projected economic benefits from a new stadium district include:
- $320 million in annual retail and hotel revenue
- 20,000 new jobs
- $1.4 billion in labor income
- $2.8 billion in total economic output
- $117 million in increased economic activity from higher revenue generated by the new gameday activities and other events
- $68 million in increased spending from visitors traveling to the games
- 600 new jobs across greater Kansas City
- 2,200 estimated onsite office jobs
- $200 million in annual labor income from new jobs
- $500 million in annual economic impact from district operations
- $170 million in annual retail and hotel revenue by the “full buildout”
Additional renderings, videos and information are available on the Royals Facebook page.