I asked the biggest biggest Royals fan I know, Jeff Euston of Cot's Contracts, for his thoughts on the idea of a new stadium. Here's what he had to say:
I don't oppose the idea of a downtown ballpark. But public money covering 75 percent of the cost is ridiculous -- and that seems like where this is headed. The main reason this is happening is the owner wants it. It'll help his bottom line & boost franchise value. For $2 billion, that's not a good enough reason.
The project includes both a ballpark and entertainment and retail area similar to Atlanta's Truist Park and Battery district. Sherman's ownership group includes the largest construction company in town, and the family that owns it. He no doubt laid the groundwork for this as he put together his group to buy the team. The buzz is that Sherman would like it ready in time for the entertainment district to benefit from 2026 World Cup games here. ... Never mind that the downtown ballpark entertainment district will likely cannibalize the downtown basketball arena entertainment district that opened in 2007.
But Kauffman Stadium is not substandard, as KC's old Municipal Stadium was in the early Seventies. The seating capacity is more than adequate. Concourses, fan amenities and the team offices all were upgraded as part of a renovation 15 years ago. (The Royals contributed a whopping 12 percent of those renovation costs.) The current location has never been ideal, admittedly. But it works. The park is still beautiful and has stood the test of time.
Another problem is that KC also has to take care of the Chiefs. And the same is true there. Arrowhead is now a classic but we'll spend another $1.5 or $2 billion to build new. That's $4 billion total, more than triple the cost of our newly renovated airport -- which actually was substandard.
I'd say 30 percent of voters oppose the idea, in any form. Another 30 percent are cheerleaders who believe KC should give both teams whatever they want. And 40 percent don't know anything. A public financing plan probably will pass in low-turnout 2023 off-year elections. ... Meanwhile, KC's public transportation system remains laughable and local and state officials are busy banning books. These are our priorities, apparently.