Kansas City Royals to welcome MLB Commissioner amid new ballpark plans

Published: Aug. 14, 2023 at 3:37 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 16, 2023 at 6:09 AM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - The Kansas City Royals will welcome Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred to the metro this week. Manfred plans to travel to Kansas City Wednesday afternoon. During his trip, he will meet with Negro Leagues Baseball Museum President Bob Kendrick and Royals Chairman and CEO John Sherman.

The event is not open to the public.

The Royals say the trip is to discuss how new ballparks and ballpark districts have impacted other cities that have decided to invest in them.

It comes about nine months after Sherman announced the Royals planned to build a new ballpark. Sherman said Kansas City will know where the future home of the Royals will be by late September.

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Two final sites have been singled out to host the new Royals stadium and an adjacent ballpark district: East Village in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, and North Kansas City. The East Village location is around 20 acres while the North Kansas City location is closer to 80, according to Sherman.

Sherman said the entire stadium and ballpark district project is expected to take about three years to build and would cost $2 billion. He has maintained that the club will commit to $1 billion in private funding.

The Royals have shared the Truman Sports Complex with the Kansas City Chiefs since the construction of Kauffman Stadium and Arrowhead Stadium. Under the current lease agreement between the Royals and Jackson County, a 3/8-cent sales tax goes toward the upkeep of facilities.

Sherman said the Royals would like that sales tax to continue -- and expect it to likely be on the ballot in the spring --- taking the $350 million it typically provides for stadium maintenance at Kauffman Stadium and shifting it to the construction of a new stadium.

The Royals lease on Kauffman Stadium expires in 2030-31.