KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Major League Baseball’s Commissioner Rob Manfred will be in Kansas City Wednesday where he’s expected to support a new Kansas City Royals stadium and ballpark district.
The big pitch from baseball’s top exec comes as we’re just a month from finding out exactly where that stadium would be and getting new renderings of what it would look like.
According to the Royals, he’ll be talking about how new ballparks and the districts surrounding them have made an impact on their local communities.
The Royals said their surrounding billion-dollar privately funded district could include local restaurants and shops, office spaces, hotels, and a variety of housing opportunities.
The Royals said construction will drive jobs and the project long term will improve the economy.
The team said the first year of the new ballpark will create $185 million more in regional economic output than The K does today.
While Manfred is expected to reinforce how similar projects have benefitted other communities, some wonder if he could lay out worst case scenarios as he meets with Kansas City community, civic, philanthropic, religious, and political leaders.
“I just feel like if something doesn’t get done, the Royals are going to be gone. I’d hate to see that because I’ve been here 32 years, and I love the Royals and they are going to have to have a new stadium,” Ed Wilson said outside Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday before the Royals took on the Seattle Mariners.
“I think the public will support it. I think the City deserves it I think that’s it’s a great idea and I think I’ll support it as well,” fan Reggie Wagner said.
They’ll be asking voters to extend a 3/8 cent sales tax forming part of the public funding for the stadium. Some said there will still be questions about on-the-field performance when that vote is held, likely next spring.
“I think we’ll increase attendance and increase excitement and I think that the administrative leadership will probably work harder and probably have a better chance to put a winner out on the field, I think a lot of people are concerned with win first then you can have this,” Darin said.
Nick Haake said the team still needs to better address other concerns life traffic.
“I don’t think a lot of people are ready to see Kauffman move. Even if the commissioner is coming in town to petition for it, I think its probably business deal than it is an enjoyment experience deal.”
The Royals are down to two sites for the project. It’s unclear right now if Manfred will have a chance to tour those sites or maybe take in a game here at the K while he’s in town. His event with local leaders is by invitation only.