1 hurdle cleared: KC Royals say where they want to build new park

The club is seeking a new stadium. Here are new details announced Tuesday.

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What Kansas City area taxpayers will get for their money if they approve an extension of the tax that helps support the home of the KC Royals became more clear Tuesday. In a mid-afternoon press conference at Kauffman Stadium, their current home, the Royals revealed where they plan to build their proposed new venue.

Chosen for the site of the park they projected Tuesday will seat 34,000-34,500 is the Crossroads District, which encompasses the former site of The Kansas City Star's printing operations facility, and is generally located north of famous Union Station and south of the downtown area, and near the popular Power & Light District. The Crossroads includes "...eclectic, locally owned boutiques, award-winning restaurants, local craft beverage makers and a thriving arts scene."

Important to remember, however, is this: nothing is set in stone. The Crossroads is, at this point, merely where the Royals want to build a new ballpark, and the club's announcement precedes a scheduled April 2 Jackson County tax referendum. It's then that voters will choose whether to approve the proposed 40-year extension of the 3/8-cent sales tax that currently helps fund the Truman Sports Complex which includes Kauffman and Arrowhead Stadiums. Details released by the Royals Tuesday should help clarify issues for voters.

Presuming it happens, approval of the tax extension will undoubtedly spur the new stadium project. Disapproval of the referendum could lead the club to seek other sites, other funding options, or any number of other alternatives. It seems unlikely, though, that the club would react to a "No" vote by leaving the Kansas City area after making it their home since baseball awarded it an American League franchise in 1968. The Royals replaced the Kansas City A's, who bolted the city for Oakland after the 1967 season, and began play at old Municipal Stadium in 1969.

What details are now known about the proposed new ballpark?

Although detailed plans are obviously still in development, the team released some renderings of the proposed new park and surrounding area, which Kansas City Star sports editor Jeff Rosen shared on X (log in to X to view):

And from the Royals via X:

Because they don't own the proposed site, the Royals must acquire the necessary real estate. Talks are already underway toward that end, they disclosed without much elaboration; keeping negotiation details close to the vest is, of course, accepted and expected practice in such situations. Confirmed Tuesday, however, was that the Royals will buy the stadium land, then transfer it to the County.

The Royals' current Kauffman Stadium lease expires in 2030, which should, assuming the project moves forward, leave plenty of time for property assemblage, breaking ground, and construction. In fact, the club expressed its desire to open their new venue for the 2028 season.

Whether a new park will bear the "Kauffman Stadium" name remains to be seen.

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