KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Rampant rumors of a possible sale of the Kansas City Royals are raising new questions about what the team could look like under new ownership.
On Tuesday, The Athletic reported current team owner David Glass was looking to sell the team, which is valued at just over $1 billion. Glass purchased the Royals in 2000 for $96 million.
“It’s not a bad investment for 20 years,” Kansas City Star columnist Dave Helling said.
As for a possible owner, if the rumors are true, Kansas City businessman John Sherman has been the name associated in the rumor mill.
Sherman, who is also a minority owner of the Cleveland Indians, would have to sell his stake in that team before any deal with the Royals could move forward.
“David Glass is that person before that was Ewing Kauffman. Now the question is if the new owner is committed to keeping the team here on a thin margin,” Helling said.
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said he also hopes, if the rumors are true, that the team will stay in Kansas City.
"I would hope that whoever is coming to town, or who is already in town, is interested in putting their skin in the game,” Lucas said.
As for the future of the Royals and the years of talks of a new baseball stadium: "We need a new baseball stadium downtown like I need a new Maserati,” Lucas said.
The team is locked into a lease at Kauffman Stadium until 2031.
Lucas said any new stadium would require a long term commitment from any owners before asking tax dollars to fork over billions. Lucas also wants owners involved.
Helling said with other issues like crime, trash and other essential services high on the priority of Kansas Citians, a new stadium may not be guaranteed.
"The question isn't is going to be whether there's going to be downtown baseball. The question is who`s going to pay for it?" he said.
Helling said any new stadiums for the Royals, and even the Chiefs, would require full regional support on both sides of the state line, which has lacked in the past.