KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The news that North Kansas City is being considered for a new Kansas City Royals stadium was a surprise to many people Tuesday.
“We look forward to keeping the Royals playing in Kansas City (MO) for years to come!” part of a tweet read from Mayor Quinton Lucas on Wednesday morning.
Jackson County Legislator Manny Abarca hadn’t heard about the Northland site until Wednesday. He spoke to FOX4 in the East Village of the downtown loop, his district, which has long been considered a spot for a new Royals stadium.
“I think the reality is that Jackson County needs to understand that this is truly a negotiation,” he said Wednesday. “The process can include other players outside of Jackson County, and so we need to come to the table in that understanding and negotiate in that manner as well.”
There’s demolition going on in the East Village right now. VanTrust Real Estate, who owns property in that area, explained why that’s happening.
“The demolition work that is underway is something that we are doing to remove blight and make the area attractive for future development,” Kansas City VanTrust Executive Vice President Rich Muller said in an email to FOX4 Wednesday, “with or without a downtown baseball stadium.”
A day earlier, FOX4 talked to the Kansas City Business Journal’s Thomas Friestad about the East Village. He originally covered the 14 sites the Royals said they were considering. Now those sites are down to five.
“There’s a sort of convenience to it, right?” Friestad said. “I mean, yes, the demolition would have to happen likely no matter what. That being said, it doesn’t hurt for the selection of a baseball site.”
Whether there truly is competition between different counties and cities for a new Royals’ stadium remains unknown.
“I think it’s interesting. Go mayor of North Kansas City and their council for approaching this,” Abarca continued. “But the reality is, I think infrastructurally, Jackson County’s much more prepared.”
The Royals have not said which other four sites they’re considering for a new stadium.