The Royals are planning to leave Kauffman. What to know about the historical precedent of their move

FILE: Kauffman Stadium has served as the home of the Royals for 50 years. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
FILE: Kauffman Stadium has served as the home of the Royals for 50 years. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)(Orlin Wagner | AP)
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 12:03 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - In a statement released Tuesday night, Kansas City Royals Chairman and CEO John Sherman said the organization was exploring a move to a downtown ballpark. Sherman cited the cost of renovation and upkeep of Kauffman Stadium as a contributing factor to the move.

“The renovations required at The K to achieve our objections would cost as much or more than the price tag to develop a new ballpark,” said Sherman. “A new home would be a far better investment, both for local taxpayer dollars already supporting our facility, and for the Kansas City community.”

Kauffman Stadium -- which opened as Royals Stadium in 1973 prior to a name change in 1993 -- just completed its 50th season as the home of the Kansas City Royals. The current lease between the organization and Jackson County concludes at the end of the decade, at which point the ballpark will be nearing 60 years old.

The ballpark most recently received a renovation in 2009, but Kauffman Stadium is currently the sixth-oldest ballpark used by a Major League Baseball team. Only Fenway Park (1912), Wrigley Field (1916), Dodger Stadium (1962), Angel Stadium (1966) and the Oakland Coliseum (1966) have been in use for longer.

READ MORE: John Sherman reveals plans to move Royals from Kauffman Stadium, explore new ballpark

Sherman said the organization was hoping to move forward with a process that “would result in the largest public-private development project in Kansas City history.” The stadium development is currently envisioned to require a $2 billion price tag.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said Tuesday night that parking -- a concern for many -- was the least of his concerns.

“Downtown baseball works in a lot of places,” Lucas said. “I’ve been in my share of St. Louis Cardinals games and others. So, it’s not something that we’re scared of. However, it is something that we want to say makes financial sense, makes good geographic sense for the people of Kansas City in this region. And, more than anything of course, makes sense to keep the Royals and the Chiefs in Kansas City.”

In the statement from Sherman, the club provided no timetable for an exact date to leave Kauffman Stadium. But as of this moment, there are 14 former MLB stadiums that were in use for less time than the 50 years Kansas City has played at the Truman Sports Complex.

TeamStadiumYears Spent in Stadium
Texas RangersGlobe Life Park26 (1994-2019)
Atlanta BravesTurner Field21 (1996-2016)
Cincinnati RedsRiverfront Stadium 33 (1970-2002)
Houston AstrosHouston Astrodome35 (1965-1999)
Miami MarlinsHard Rock Stadium 19 (1993-2011)
Milwaukee BrewersMilwaukee County Stadium48 (1953-2000)
Minnesota TwinsHubert H. Humphrey Metrodome28 (1982-2009)
Philadelphia PhilliesVeterans Stadium 33 (1971-2003)
Pittsburgh PiratesThree Rivers Stadium 31 (1970-2000)
New York MetsShea Stadium 35 (1964-2008)
St. Louis CardinalsBusch Stadium 40 (1966-2005)
San Diego PadresSan Diego Stadium 35 (1969-2003)
San Francisco GiantsCandlestick Park40 (1960-1999)
Seattle MarinersSeattle Kingdome 23 (1977-1999)

Four of the stadiums that opened after the Royals moved into Kauffman Stadium have already been moved on from. Globe Life Park, Turner Field, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome and the Seattle Kingdome each were used for less than 30 seasons. Meanwhile, the Royals will begin their 51st season at Kauffman in 2023.