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The Kansas City Royals Are 'Having Some Thoughts' About A Downtown Stadium

The Kansas City Royals are considering the team's future home and acknowledge downtown Kansas City is one of the options.
Jason Hanna
Kansas City Royals
The Kansas City Royals are considering the team's future home and acknowledge downtown Kansas City is one of the options.

The Kansas City Royals are looking ahead and beginning to publicly consider downtown as the team's next stadium location.

On any other day an announcement that the Kansas City Royals had promoted two of its high-profile executives would be considered big news, but Tuesday it was overshadowed by team majority owner John Sherman's revelation the team is conducting internal studies on whether to eventually play baseball in downtown Kansas City.

“I get asked this literally everywhere I go,” said Sherman when asked about the prospects of a downtown stadium. The possibility of a downtown stadium resurfaced when Sherman and his group of investors purchased the Royals from David Glass in the fall of 2020 for $1 billion.

The Royals currently have a lease at the Truman Sports Complex through 2031.

Before fielding questions about the Royals’ venue future, Sherman announced the promotion of Dayton Moore to president of team operations. Long-time aide J.J. Picollo was named to succeed Moore as the Royals general manager.

While Moore and Picollo are measuring the team’s caliber as a 2022 playoff contender, Sherman also knows it’s time to think about its long-term future and where the team will play over the long haul.

A downtown stadium?

“We’re having some thoughts about it,” said Sherman. “We want to be more transparent about how we’re thinking about it. Begin that discussion and start to get feedback from the various groups in the community.”

Sherman said the Royals have started “an internal process” to help evaluate the team’s options and clearly indicated that downtown baseball is one of those options.

This year in Major League Baseball, the Royals rank 20th in attendance with 987,610 fans (an average of 14,313 per game). Starting with Tuesday's game (Sept. 14) against Oakland to begin a three-game series, the Royals have 12 home dates remaining.

At the current average, the Royals figure to pull in a total of $1.1 million this season, which would be their lowest since 1975, two years after Kauffman Stadium opened as Royals Stadium.

It comes during a season in which the Adams Mark Hotel and Conference Center loomed north of the complex as an empty hotel all year and commercial development in the area surrounding the complex has been stagnant.

Sherman outlined his criteria for what will determine the Royals’ final decision: “Community impact, economic growth and quality of life for people in this region.”

He also acknowledges that the math must work and anticipates a “public-private partnership” if a downtown stadium is built.

Sports have an economic and social impact on our community and, as a sports reporter, I go beyond the scores and statistics. I also bring the human element to the sports figures who have a hand in shaping the future of not only their respective teams but our town. Reach me at gregechlin@aol.com.
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