KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A spokeswoman for the Kansas City Royals says the team’s down to two locations for their new proposed ballpark and entertainment district.
The East Village site, just east of the Kansas City Police Department Headquarters, northeast of 12th and Cherry, and a site in North Kansas City, near 18th Avenue and Fayette.
“I think this is an exciting opportunity for North Kansas City,” Mayor Bryant DeLong said in an interview with FOX4 Wednesday. “You know we’re ready and willing to work with anyone that wants to be in North Kansas City.”
DeLong first heard about a site in his city that could be the new home for the Royals on December 13 of last year, the day of the team’s first community event.
“I feel like the process is moving along,” he continued. “I feel like there are a lot of good things happening. There’s definitely some excitement around the site.”
DeLong’s been working with Clay County leaders on trying to bring the Royals north of the river, but the Clay County Commission’s the group that ultimately would decide whether everyone in the county gets to vote for a sales tax that would go toward funding the stadium.
“When we put something before the voters, [it needs] to have something that has been well thought out and make sure that it is ready for prime time,” Clay County Presiding Commissioner Jerry Nolte said.
“Do I think it would pass? I think there’s a genuine possibility it would pass. I think we need to make sure that we present it the proper way, but I think there’s an appetite for Clay County to make that jump up into the next level, and this would certainly be a huge step for this county.”
The same process for public funding holds true in Jackson County for putting a sales tax extension on the ballot there. Executive Frank White and Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas wouldn’t comment on this issue Wednesday.
“My goal is to keep the Royals in Jackson County,” Legislator Manny Abarca said in a statement to FOX4 Wednesday. “But until I see a clear and inclusive community benefit and agreements, I am not supporting putting it on the ballot.”
Kauffman Stadium opened up at the Truman Sports Complex in 1973 and is owned by Jackson County.
“The Royals’ partnership with Jackson County is 50 years strong and we continue to meet with city and county leaders toward furthering that mutually beneficial relationship,” Royals Senior Director of Communications Strategy Sharita Hutton said.
“We believe that both East Village and North Kansas City could be viable locations for our next home. While we’ve done the most work in the East Village, we have the responsibility to our community and our fans to fully evaluate both.”
Clay County leaders would have to know by August whether they’re going to put this on the ballot for everyone in Clay County to vote on this November.
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Conversations in Jackson County about a possible 3/8 cent sales tax extension and when residents could be voting on it have not been made public.