KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As the Kansas City Royals make a staffing pivot by firing President Dayton Moore, team ownership is also exposing increasing momentum on a stadium change.
While announcing Moore’s departure, majority team owner John Sherman dipped into the issue of a bringing Royals baseball downtown.
These discussion are becoming more real day-to-day.
Just this week, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce was in Detroit for a leadership conference. While there, a vice president and chief legal counsel for the Royals moderated a panel about the impact of downtown sports.
Sherman appeared happy to segue into stadium discussions Wednesday during his media availability on Moore. Envisioning a move away from the Truman Sports Complex, he said the team is already in talks with the Kansas City Chiefs and Jackson County.
“If you could dream a little bit — and I’m looking at some people who are working this — you’ve got to do more than dream. There’s a lot of legwork to be done here to finance this and build support for it,” Sherman said.
On that financing portion, those discussions are still in the dark.
City leaders, including Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, have expressed their own concerns, noting discussions between the Royals and the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.
“They are talking about downtown baseball. I don’t build it up. But I will make a point for you all while these people can still hear me. There has been much discussion as to ‘Why would the city ever want to defend itself?'” Lucas said Monday.
“If you’re a city actor who is afraid that folks are going to make plans outside of your viewpoint that someday will just be handed to you, that might be one of those things. It’s the reason we’re concerned.”
Just last week City Manager Brian Platt expressed concerns about lack of transparency from the Royals. The Royals owner said this in response:
“I don’t really understand why he said that because we’ve been very transparent and communicative with the mayor’s office. In fact, I think I have something on my calendar right now with the mayor,” Sherman said.
“You know, the city manager might have been linked to that contract he tried to have for a consultant. I think the good news there is that it’s clear to me that they want to work on this and they want to help make it happen.”
What about the timeline? The Royals’ lease at the Truman Sports Complex goes until 2031, but ownership see synergy with the World Cup coming as well as the new stadium construction for the KC Current. So it’s possible they could be looking at an accelerated timeline.