NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo.- A group called TO NKC, LLC is behind the “Let’s go Royals to North Kansas City” ad that’s become public over the past week.
“Clay County is on the move. We’re a Major League County, and this is our opportunity to get our fair share,” the beginning of the ad states.
According to their Articles of Organization on the Missouri Secretary of State’s website, it was “to educate the public about the Royals’ new stadium.”
“I agree with their messaging. Clay County is on the move,” Clay County Western Commissioner Jason Withington said in an interview with FOX4 Monday. “You’re either growing or you’re dying, and Clay County and North Kansas City have a lot of potential.”
Withington said he didn’t know much about the ad. A spokesman for the Royals says they are not behind it. The team has narrowed down their final potential stadium sites to two locations, the East Village of Kansas City Missouri, and Jackson County, and an area near 18th Avenue and Fayette in North Kansas City, south of Armour Road.
“We’re not going to be like the East Village and sit vacant for 20 years hoping the Royals come,” Withington continued. “With or without the Royals, North Kansas City’s going to grow, and I think there are some business people who see the potential in North Kansas City developing and Clay County continuing to be one of the fastest growing counties in the state.”
The question becomes whether Clay County residents would support a sales tax for a new stadium. Residents there have never had to pay for a stadium like Jackson County residents have.
“I’d probably vote for it. I’d probably vote yes for a sales tax,” Ryan Chambers said outside Kauffman Stadium on Monday before the Royals took on the Chicago White Sox. “I don’t think we have the shopping that other counties have though, either.”
Former KC City Councilwoman Heather Hall also shared her thoughts and seemed enthused about the idea of a stadium in Clay County.
“When the Royals revealed renderings for an NKC stadium site, it was met with much enthusiasm from community and business leaders in Clay County,” Hall said.
“These leaders wanted to keep the momentum going and speak directly to Clay County residents about the benefits of the Royals choosing Clay County for their new stadium. We’re happy to have a group dedicated to the betterment of the county, and I’m happy to be publicly associated with To NKC. Through our website, www.ToNorthKansasCity.com, thousands of Clay Countians have signed on as supporters of this movement. We look forward to the Royals’ upcoming decision!”
In 2006, Jackson County voters approved a 3/8ths cent sales tax that shoppers pay. The money generated from that goes to paying off stadium improvements to GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium and Kauffman that were made because of that vote. That current sales tax doesn’t expire until 2031.
“I feel like if they’re going to move, I’d rather them move downtown than North Kansas City,” Jackson County resident Sara Harrison said. “But I would really like them to stay here because I really love this stadium.”
The team’s supposed to announce where they want to build their new stadium at the end of September. But last month, Executive Vice President Sarah Tourville said that timeline may be subject to change.