Kauffman Stadium has been home to the Kansas City Royals since 1973 and it'll remain their home through most of the 2020s. Royals ownership has plans for a new park, though.
On Tuesday, in a letter to fans, Royals owner John Sherman revealed plans to build a new ballpark in downtown Kansas City -- or "close to it" -- and surround it with a "ballpark district."
They haven't yet nailed down a specific spot, but said they have "several leading locations under close consideration."
The club released an artist rendering of the new ballpark the Royals plan to unveil for the 2030s, if not sooner.
Once the A's either get a new ballpark in Oakland or leave for a new city, the only four ballparks older than Kauffman Stadium will be Fenway Park (Red Sox, 1912), Wrigley Field (Cubs, 1914), Dodger Stadium (1962) and Angel Stadium (1966).
The Royals lease for Kauffman Stadium runs to 2030, but it doesn't necessarily mean they have to stay put the entire time. There's wiggle room to leave earlier, should the plans for the new ballpark and then the construction come together earlier.
As for the ballpark district, here's a section of the letter that outlines the vision:
- Our vision is to not just build a facility that does justice to the spirit of The K. We want to construct a world-class experience – a new ballpark district and all that comes with it – one that is woven into the fabric of our city, can host events and concerts, and boosts our local economy. We also envision incorporating our Kansas City fountains, the Royals' crown and our team's rich traditions and history in a new ballpark district.
- The proposed ballpark district would become a new home for Royals fans far and wide – both inside a state-of-the-art ballpark and in the revitalized surrounding area. We will marry the traditions of The K with a better experience for our fans.
- With a mixture of public and private investment, including our own intention to invest hundreds of millions of dollars directly into the ballpark and the ballpark district, the long-term vision remains a work-in-progress. We envision local restaurants and shops, office spaces, hotels, and a variety of housing opportunities accessible for Kansas Citians from all walks of life. Affordable housing options will be important to our efforts. We would also work closely with our local transportation leaders to ensure public transportation options accommodate a new ballpark district.
The full letter, for those interested, is posted here.
It'll be a while. It's nearly a decade down the road, but the biggest takeaway is that the Royals are planning on moving to a new home in the city sometime in the next decade.