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These Kansas City fans want to 'Save The K' instead of building a new Royals stadium

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A baseball stadium is shown from the outside. A curving, concrete shape rise above metal fencing and walkways with lights on white steel beams extending above.
Carlos Moreno
/
KCUR 89.3
The Royals hope to replace the 50-year-old Kauffman Stadium with a new facility, but members of a Facebook group dedicated to saving The K say they don't want a new ballpark.

A local baseball fan created a Facebook group to "save Kauffman Stadium" over two years ago. Now, their movement claims over 7,500 members, even as the campaign to build a new downtown Royals ballpark gains momentum and legislative support.

Jackson County voters will decide this April if they want to renew a 3/8th-cent sales tax to help fund a new Kansas City Royals stadium — wherever that may be.

As KCUR reported in November, a study from the design firm Populous found severe structural issues at Kauffman Stadium that could prove more costly to fix than a new stadium would be to build.

However, many fans think The K is doing just fine.

Longtime Royals fan Joe Vaughn, creator of the Facebook community “Save Kauffman (Royals) Stadium at Truman Sports Complex,” said they have 7,500 members concerned about what a new stadium could mean for the fan experience, especially if it’s located in the city center.

“There's no parking downtown. There's no way to tailgate. That's one of the most beloved activities of Royals and Chiefs fans that would go away,” Vaughan told KCUR’s Up To Date.

"This is an idea with a small group of people who are not motivated for the public interest or the fan interest. They see a way to make more money off of this."

Vaughn says the Royals should instead invest in improving the existing stadium, like the Dodgers did with a facility even older than The K.

Becky Nace, a former Kansas City councilmember and an active member in Vaughn’s Facebook group, said the Jackson County Legislature is leaving taxpayers in the dark when it comes to the price tag of the new stadium. A location for the stadium has also yet to be announced.

“They are depriving the public of their right to know and be fully informed before they have to make a very, very expensive 40-year commitment to fund these projects,” she said.

  • Joe Vaughan, founder of the Facebook group “Save Kauffman (Royals) Stadium at Truman Sports Complex”
  • Becky Nace, former Kansas City councilperson and "Save the K" leader
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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
Claudia Brancart is an Up To Date producer for KCUR 89.3. She graduated from Pitzer College in Los Angeles where she majored in World Literature and Studio Art. You can reach her at claudiab@kcur.org.
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