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Kansas City, Kansas, mayor says his downtown is perfect for a new Royals ballpark

Morning traffic flows up Minnesota Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas.
Julie Denesha
/
KCUR 89.3FM
Morning traffic flows up Minnesota Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas.

Lawmakers in the state of Kansas are working to convince the Kansas City Royals and Chiefs to move to their side of the state line. Mayor Tyrone Garner says he's all-in on luring the teams to Kansas City, Kansas.

As lawmakers in Kansas continue their push to bring the Chiefs and Royals to the Sunflower State, leaders in Kansas City, Kansas, say they can envision a ballpark right in Wyandotte County.

In an interview with KCUR's Up To Date, Kansas State Sen. Jeff Pittman and Kansas City, Kansas, Mayor Tyrone Garner both said that their downtown is an ideal spot for the Royals to put down their roots.

"Land is cheap, it is ripe for development, it is centrally located in the Kansas City metropolitan area," said Garner. "I think that a baseball team downtown would be great, not just overlooking the Kansas City, Missouri, skyline but overlooking the Kansas City, Kansas skyline, as well as our Missouri and Kansas rivers."

"There's a lot of potential there to do some really awesome things that would be of great value to the great folks that live in that area in the eastern portion of Kansas City, Kansas," Garner added.

Garner said a new Chiefs stadium could work near the Legends — where Sporting KC and the Kansas City Monarchs already play.

All of this is contingent on state lawmakers taking up a STAR bond proposal in next week’s special legislative session.

Pittman, who represents western Wyandotte County, says there is bipartisan support for the plan.

Garner also rejects the charge that the stadium bid renews a border war between Missouri and Kansas.

“I think what you saw was the legislative engine here in the state of Kansas say, we don’t want to lose these teams," Garner says. "We want to give them an alternate option and that’s what it’s about.”

Garner says Kansas officials didn’t interfere with the sales tax election in Jackson County, and only moved after voters soundly defeated it.

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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.
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As Up To Date’s senior producer, I construct daily conversations that give our listeners context to the issues of our time. I strive to provide a platform that holds those in power accountable, while also spotlighting the voices of Kansas City’s creatives and visionaries that may otherwise go unheard. Email me at zach@kcur.org.
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