KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Monarchs are returning to the baseball diamond as part of a new partnership with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
The transformation of the former T-Bones franchise will benefit Kansas City’s baseball museum.
The minor league team will remain in western Wyandotte County, Kan., but will now be known as the Kansas City Monarchs Baseball Club.
The new owners of the team, MaxFun Entertainment, signed a long term licensing agreement with the Negro Leagues museum to allow the independent minor league team to use the Monarchs name.
The museum will also receive a revenue stream that will continue for as long as the team exists.
And the Monarchs will promote the museum at its Wyandotte County, Kan., ballpark with a satellite exhibit as well as travelling exhibits that will accompany the team to other baseball stadiums around the country.
“There are some minimums we were able to put in place so there’s guaranteed revenue the museum will receive every year,” Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, said. “With the opportunity to push as many fans in and buy as much merchandise, food and beverage, those things that will generate additional royalty support for the museum. So the more successful the club is, the more successful the Negro Leagues museum will be.”
The minor league team also will establish a Monarchs youth academy in Wyandotte County, offering baseball and softball programs for urban kids.
Kendrick believes the partnership will help attract more people from the metro area to the museum at the 18th and Vine district. That’s been difficult for Negro Leagues supporters. The last year has been challenging for museums and destination attractions across the nation.
With Negro Leagues records now elevated to Major League status by baseball’s commissioner, this partnership provides another boost for a Kansas City institution.