Royals Put Off Stadium Decision Another Month
Now that it’s almost Christmas, I can’t help but compare the latest news about the Kansas City Royals to a holiday classic, White Christmas. For younger readers, White Christmas is about two entertainers (Wallace and Davis) who try to help an old friend’s ski lodge. As the movie pivots toward its conclusion, Wallace abruptly leaves dinner, inspired by something Davis has just told him. Davis, flummoxed, turns to another friend:
Phil Davis: [sighs] I don’t know what he’s up to, but he’s got that Rodgers and Hammerstein look again.
Betty Haynes: Is that bad?
Phil Davis: Not bad, but always expensive.
I’m afraid things are about to get more expensive with the Royals:
The Royals had previously announced a decision on a new Kansas City ballpark by the end of September. Now, as of Sept. 21, the team is looking to push off a decision as negotiations continue with both Jackson County and Clay County officials over the cost and funding of the projects. If the team goes downtown, the new ballpark would be located in the East Village near the downtown loop, on a 27-acre site bounded by 8th Street to the north, 12th Street to the south (where the main entrance would be located), Charlotte Street to the east to Cherry Street to the west; if the team does go with North Kansas City, an 18th Avenue and Fayette Street ballpark location would be part of the 90-acre site. The target date for both locations: 2028.
The fact that negotiations are continuing with both counties is concerning, precisely for the reason Quentin Lucas mentioned at the outset when Clay County’s bid was announced: the longer this bidding war goes on, the worse served local taxpayers are going to be. It’s hard to envision a circumstance where longer negotiations would decrease the amount of money shoveled over to the Kansas City Royals at the end of this process, so moving the decision date from late September to late October is a very unwelcome development.
Again, no public money should be going to a project like this, but if it is, it would be far better for that decision to be made sooner and not later. The decision coming later than was promised should concern all taxpayers.