Despite their current six-game winning streak, to say the KC Royals' 2023 season has been a disappointment would be an understatement. The club has been desperately scrambling for solutions to make the team come alive again. The idea of a new stadium has been floating around for a while, receiving mixed reviews from fans. Some see a new stadium as a beacon of hope, while others are skeptical, due largely to the history behind the team's beloved Kauffman Stadium. To some fans and to ownership, a new stadium in the right location could make even a loss a better experience and boost morale.
Why would the KC Royals consider leaving Kauffman Stadium?
Play began at Kauffman Stadium—then known as Royals Stadium—in 1973, making it one of the oldest ballparks in the majors. Located just off the intersection of Interstates 70 and 435, and next to Arrowhead Stadium, the park has a long and storied history, seeing two World Series victories, most notably the Royals' dramatic victory in 2015. However, the Royals have struggled since then, leading to several unsuccessful seasons and a decline in overall performance. This year, attendance is dangerously close to an all-time low.
Now, however, the Royals have narrowed their search for a new ballpark to two locations—one in Jackson County and one in Clay County. According to a recent open letter from Royals principal owner John Sherman, construction of a new park will take about three years to complete and "...is expected to generate over 20,000 jobs, $1.4 billion in labor income and $2.8 billion in total economic output..." And, according to Sherman's letter, in its first year of operation a new venue for the Royals is "...expected to generate some $185 million more in regional economic output than The K does today."
A new stadium, then, could possibly generate good revenue for surrounding businesses and hopefully fix the issue of declining attendance.
What can fans of the KC Royals expect from a new stadium?
While a move to a new park cannot guarantee success on the field, one located downtown or near it could present many new opportunities for Kansas City fans. A new modern stadium in the heart of the city will allow fans to turn gamedays into days of activities before and after games with lively areas like the Power & Light District just a streetcar ride away. Relocating to an exciting area closer to Downtown Kansas City could attract tourists and sponsors, and increase local spending.