While over the years the teams from the AL Central have provided a nice rivalry for the KC Royals, imagine what could have developed in the NL.
I enjoy our battles with current division rivals, the Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers, and Cleveland Indians. The White Sox and Twins are holdovers from the old AL West after all. But imagine the rush of playing teams steeped in history like the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates, and of course, the St. Louis Cardinals on a routine basis.
Not only would Royals fans get to make pleasure trips to Chicago and St. Louis with plenty to offer besides baseball, but they could see the beautiful stadiums in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. And you know their fans would make the trip to Kansas City as well, which would pump crowd totals.
Frequently, the Royals have trouble drawing fans due to poor play. The attraction of the new rivals would be a boon to the turnstiles and revenue. When the Cardinals came to Kauffman last August, attendance increased by nearly 25 percent over the average for 2019.
It was an off-year for that match up as it was two mid-week games in August right when school was starting for many. The prior year a weekend three-game series against the I-70 rivals saw an average attendance of 30,417.
"Of course, one cool aspect of his hiring (Mike Matheny) is it infused the Cardinals-Royals rivalry. It could use the jolt. – stltoday.com"
The last time the Cubs came to visit, the three-game total was 100,066 fans for a 33,355 average. If you think who you play does not matter to drive ticket sales you are wrong. Especially with these two franchises who tend to compete for division titles more often than not and have a strong Midwest following.
The lack of an owner at the time was a detriment to making this important decision. Any sensible person in charge would have seen the potential to make more money on jumped at it.