KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Kansas City Royals owner, John Sherman said on Tuesday that the team is conducting ‘internal evaluations’ of a possible new stadium location. Relocating the major league baseball team to downtown Kansas City has been rumored for years.
The club’s current lease with Jackson County at the Truman Sports Complex runs through 2031. The team will have to make a decision on where they plan to play in the future in a few years, if they plan to build a new stadium. During Tuesday’s press conference, owner John Sherman, said they are considering certain criteria.
- The move would have to be somewhere with meaningful impact for the community.
- The move would have to result in economic growth and benefit the region
- The move would take quality of life into account
“We need to have a positive impact in the quality of life for citizens in Kansas City, with a particular focus on those underrepresented parts of our community,” explains Sherman.
Fans had mixed reactions to the news on Tuesday. Some fans said they support a move to downtown, others are opposed to it because of parking and congestion to the area.
Shirley Wright and her husband have lived in Kansas City since 1975. Wright says she and her husband make it out to a few games every year. She supports a Royals move to downtown, only if it generates job opportunities for people in the area.
At Kauffman Stadium some fans were divided about whether a move downtown would be a good idea.
John Roccaro and his friend, Mark Mauer had been discussing the idea at their tailgate party outside the K since they heard Sherman's comments earlier in the day.
"I'm open to the idea of downtown KC, looking over the cityscape," Roccaro said.
Mauer, however, said he loved Kauffman too much to see it replaced. The idea of a downtown stadium also seemed to cramped for him.
"You'd have to park on the street, park in a garage, which if you've ever been to a Cardinals game in St. Louis you know parking garages are horrible."
The current stadium at the Truman Sports Complex is funded through public-private partnership and that would likely be the same process going forward, but it would still need to be discussed, along with a specific location.
Jackson County executive Frank White, Jr. issued the following statement after Sherman’s remarks today.
“Before making it to the major leagues, I got a job to support my family during the offseason helping to build what is now known as Kauffman Stadium. I can still remember working on the upper deck of the unfinished stadium while looking down on the field and dreaming that I would one day be lucky enough to play in this amazing stadium in my own hometown. Not only did that dream come true, but I was lucky enough to call Kauffman Stadium home for my entire 18-year career. I have also been grateful to see my number retired and a statue built in my honor. I truly believe there is no one who loves this nearly 50-year-old stadium, and the fans that call it home, more than I do.
Now as County Executive, I am extremely proud to lead a county that is home to two of the greatest stadiums in professional sports. As I have said from day one, we have a responsibility to ensure the County is using the tax dollars entrusted to us by our residents as effectively and efficiently as possible. Part of that responsibility is being open to opportunities to improve the impact our investments are making in the community, including a potential downtown stadium.
Finally, I have been truly impressed by the thoughtful approach that John Sherman and other members of the Royals’ ownership group are taking. During our discussions, Mr. Sherman has made it clear that any decisions the team makes will be driven by the impact they will have on our community, in particular areas that have been historically underserved.”