KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
Kansas City Royals owner John Sherman announced that the team is officially planning on leaving Kauffman Stadium to build a new, $2 billion stadium and entertainment district.
The team has not landed on a location yet, but Sherman said his team will begin scouting for a final destination.
Kauffman Stadium, otherwise known as "The K," has been the Royals' home since 1973. The stadium has seen four World Series match ups and two All-Star Games since it opened. As of now, Kauffman Stadium is the sixth oldest stadium in the Major Leagues, behind Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, and others.
"As you may already know, it's becoming challenging to maintain the K," Sherman wrote in an open letter to fans. "When its current lease with Jackson County concludes at the end at the end of this decade, it will be 60 years old. The renovations required at the K to achieve our objectives would cost much more than the price tag to develop a new ball park."
Sherman added that he doesn't just want to build a new stadium, but an entirely new experience for Royals fans. He said he wants to construct a venue that can host concerts and other events to boost the local economy.
The new district is expected to be a mix of public and private investments, including investments from the Royals organization. Sherman said that he envisions shops, restaurants, office spaces, hotels, and even affordable housing options for Kansas Citians.
The Royals also plan on including the team's history in a new ball park.
"We also envision incorporating our Kansas City fountains, the Royals' crown and our team's rich traditions and history into a new ball park district," he said.
The project is expected to cost $2 billion, while construction could potentially create more than 20,000 jobs in the area. Sherman said, once opened, his team expects the district to drive about $185 million more regional economic output than The K does currently.
No timeline for when the new stadium will be built has been announced yet.