KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Royals Chairman and CEO John Sherman briefly spoke about his timeline for a new stadium Tuesday at a press conference at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
“There’s a lot of work to do, but in some window in between August of this year and April of 2024 would be kind of the window that we would try to target,” Sherman told FOX4 when asked whether it’d be hard for his group to put a sales tax extension on a Jackson County ballot this August.
The county legislature is the group that gets to decide whether a vote like that would actually happen.
“I openly told John Sherman and the organization that I’m either the easiest yes or the hardest yes to get to for that,” new Jackson County Legislator Sean Smith told FOX4 Wednesday.
Smith said he wants more information from the Royals before he makes a decision on whether or not he supports putting that 3/8ths cent sales tax on a Jackson County ballot in the future.
After a vote in 2006, people are already paying that sales tax when they shop in the county, and the money made off of it goes toward current stadium improvements at Kauffman Stadium and GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.
That tax is set to expire though in 2031. An extension could help Sherman fund his new stadium.
“I would agree August seems challenging,” Smith said when asked when Jackson County residents may be able to vote on this.
“For one thing, the cost to the taxpayer just to have a single ballot initiative put forth. I think the cost on that’s almost a million dollars between the Kansas City Election Board and the Jackson County Election Board.”
Smith said Sherman’s doing the right thing by starting to inform the public that he wants to move away from the Truman Sports Complex.
“If he thinks that that’s feasible between now and August for a vote, that feels like we still have a lot of wood to chop before we could get to that point before August, right?”
Smith said the Royals would have to come to county legislators soon.
“It would have to be in advance of August that the legislature group would be in a position to make a decision to put it on the ballot,” he continued. “So we’re talking about really only a month or so from now. I don’t know how we could get there.”
FOX4 interviewed Smith at 12th and Cherry streets, near the East Village. That area, just east and northeast of Kansas City police headquarters, has long been considered a new landing spot for the Royals.
But the team has also confirmed a spot in North Kansas City, outside of Jackson County and south of Safe Haven Security, is being considered as a future home, too.
“We’ve probably done the most work there,” Sherman said Wednesday about the East Village. “In those cases, you have two separate landowners that are trying to do some things to prepare for some development of some sort, but really unrelated to anything that we’re asking about.”
All of this comes as the Royals have the second-worst record in Major League Baseball, going into Wednesday evening.