The Kansas City Royals’ evaluation of prospective sites for a downtown baseball stadium has long been common knowledge, but the extent of the team’s research on the real estate side remained a mystery until a few weeks ago.
Executives with sports architect Populous, a consultant for the Royals, said the team has considered 14 potential sites in or close to Downtown for a $2 billion ballpark and surrounding baseball district. The team briefly flashed a highlighted map of the sites in its presentation at a Dec. 13 community meeting.
The map includes multiple sites that have recurred in Royals stadium talks over the 20 years some urban advocates have lobbied for such a venue:
- The East Village;
- The East Crossroads, east of The Kansas City Star’s former offices;
- The area around the KCATA’s headquarters, near the 18th & Vine Jazz District;
- Blocks east of the T-Mobile Center that include the Jackson County Detention Center; and
- A portion of the North Loop, near the Flashcube Luxury Apartments.
Among the more intriguing revelations was the team’s consideration of a roughly two-by-three block section of North Kansas City, bounded generally by Armour Road and E. 15th Avenue from north to south, and Swift and Howell streets from west to east.
That location on the Royals’ site map is outside Jackson County, where the team intends to seek an extension of the three-eighths-cent sales tax now covering stadium renovations at Truman Sports Complex. The North Kansas City site is in Clay County, so it’s unclear what, if any public financing sources the team has considered there.
A second site north of the Missouri River sits within 29.8 industrial acres east of the Heart of America Bridge, just south of Kansas City’s border with North Kansas City.
South of the river, a third as-yet unreported ballpark prospect is in the south West Bottoms, between Interstate 670 to the north and Hy-Vee Arena to the south.
>> Keep reading in the Kansas City Business Journal.