Kansas City Royals owner John Sherman published an open letter on Tuesday concerning the organization’s future at Kauffman Stadium.
According to Sherman, the team intends to leave their longtime home and finalize a location for a new multi-billion dollar sports complex.
Sherman explained that it’s getting tougher and tougher to maintain the aging stadium. A new ballpark, he claims, would be more financially beneficial for the team and local residents.
“It’s becoming challenging to maintain the K,” said the letter published on the Royals’ Twitter account, “A new home would be a far better investment, both for the local taxpayer dollars already supporting our facility and the Kansas City community.”
Many Recent Changes for Royals
This is the latest dramatic turn of events for an organization with a ton of recent turnover.
Just in the past few months, the Royals have fired both their manager and president of baseball operations.
Kauffman has been the Royals home since 1973, meaning they just recently completed their 50th season there.
It’s currently the sixth-oldest stadium currently operating in major league baseball.
Wrigley Field, Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium, Fenway Park, and Oakland’s RingCentral Coliseum are the only older facilities.
Oakland might not be long for their stadium either.
Royals Stadium Renderings Show Exciting Potential Future
Renderings for the new sports and entertainment district imply a mixed-use complex with connections to local surroundings.
Kauffman has undergone relatively recent renovations, including a $250 million multi-year project completed in 2009.
But Sherman almost immediately began looking for new sites after purchasing the team several years ago.
The timeframe for this proposed new stadium is uncertain, however their current lease doesn’t expire until 2031.
There will be numerous potential locations, but a downtown stadium has been repeatedly mentioned as a possibility.
Jackson County executive Frank White issued a statement saying that he wants to hear more about the Royals’ plans before making any decisions.
“I look forward to continuing to work with all parties involved, but we have a long way to go before any decisions are made on a downtown stadium. Specifically, I am interested in hearing more about Mr. Sherman’s proposal in terms of location, cost, funding sources and specific new and added benefits to the community.”
The Royals have struggled mightily in recent years, but new ballparks can sometimes jumpstart success. Although sometimes grandoise plans like this one never actually come to fruition.
Sherman appears determined to leave Kauffman however, and determination creates results.
Royals fans might have to wait a while, but at the very least there’s now something to look forward to in Kansas City.