The Royals, in all likelihood, are moving stadiums within the next 5-10 years. Many already know this, what isn't known is where the stadium will be. The Royals and their owner, John Sherman, have not been super transparent about the logistics regarding the move. Where it will be, how much it will cost, what kind of public funding it will see, and other important details have not been addressed...until now (Marginally). John Sherman released a statement regarding the state of the move, you can find it here:
Sherman opens with a story of how he met the wife of late Royals 1985 World Series manager Dick Howser, in where he then explains how this organization needs to restore its legacy. "We're intensely committed to restoring the Royals to their rightful place in Major League Baseball, and we will do what's necessary to see that through." Hm. Okay. Where's the money dedicated toward building this roster and getting in the proper management to run this team? I've said this before and I'll say it again: You are not going to garner off-the-field interest when the on-the-field product is terrible.
The Royals are downright terrible, that is undeniable, what is deniable, I guess, is the promise to deliver a downtown stadium, something that was originally said when rumors started floating around. Something that makes sense, meanwhile John Sherman goes into where potential locations for this stadium might be. " In the next 30 days, we plan to share an overview of the ballpark district, including the broad benefits of the two sites consideration-one in Jackson County and one in Clay County." Clay County. Due north of downtown Kansas City. IN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT JURISDICTION OF KANSAS CITY, and 30 days? You made an announcement for your announcement??? After all you've put this fanbase through so far???
Hopefully you can understand the apathy/outright hostility towards this, because frankly speaking it's well deserved. You tell folks that the stadium may not actually be downtown, if it isn't it's an even farther drive for the fans that live in and around the city (something that has never gone well in regard to stadiums), and you STILL persist in your lack of transparency and willful coyness. Anybody would be frustrated if this happened with their franchise just once, it's been happening ever since you took ownership. If you don't know how to run a franchise please just say so, but don't keep trying at the expense of Kansas City. Did I mention Sherman has only promised to pay for HALF of this 2.8-billion-dollar project? Where's the rest of that money going to come from, John? It won't come from the taxpayers if this team continues to be terrible. You can count on that.
I'll end my rant for now, I don't want this to be too long. In summary, John Sherman's letter answers next to nothing. It tells us stuff we already knew and continues to goalpost shift for the organization. At this point, it's inexcusable for this to keep happening, something needs to be done. The on the field product needs to be improved from investments in scouting, management, and overall player retention and acquisition. The small market excuse is so played out by now it's not even funny. Then and ONLY then will you see support grow for this stadium idea. You also won't see support for a stadium that only hinders the main base of the Royals fanbase. Having a stadium miles outside of downtown has never gone well. It's part of the reason this change is being discussed, however solving the problem by just doing the problem (but different) all over again makes zero sense. A downtown stadium does with the amenities downtown has to offer, all while being in close proximity to the main base of Royals fans. In the end, we have power as a fanbase. Forget what the As are going through right now, moving out of Kansas City makes no financial sense to John Sherman. Like he said himself, this area is booming, and if he chose to move it would backfire tremendously. Voice your concerns, continue to press Sherman and the ownership, and if needed, push Sherman to sell the team. If that's what needs to be done, so be it.
Let me know your thoughts, and thanks for reading.
Burn Notice: 10/10 Take your letter and burn it, John.