A Downtown Baseball Stadium in KC: Who Pays?

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In a recent press conference, John Sherman, the primary owner of the Kansas City Royals, was asked if the team was exploring the possibility of building a new stadium in downtown Kansas City. This is something that’s been talked about in Kansas City for years, and it’s a question Sherman gets asked often. It made news this time because Sherman publicly acknowledged that, yes, the team was exploring that option (among others) and that he anticipated some level of public funding would be needed.

In this episode of Upzoned, we’re talking about the potentials and pitfalls of a downtown stadium and how much (if any) of it should be paid for by Kansas City taxpayers. Regular host Abby Kinney and co-host Chuck Marohn are both out for the week. Subbing in for them are Rachel Quednau, program director at Strong Towns and host of The Bottom-Up Revolution podcast, as well as John Pattison, the Strong Towns content manager…and lifelong Kansas City Royals fan.

Rachel and John evaluate the case for building a new stadium in Kansas City’s downtown, its risks and rewards, and why the clock is ticking for the Royals on whether or not to pursue this. They also discuss whether or not the economic rationale for public funding—more jobs, more tax revenue, etc.—is likely to live up to the hype.

Then in the downzone, John describes a book that has him taking photographs of his pencil sharpener (the promised pictures are below), and Rachel recommends this weekly digest from her Strong Towns colleagues.

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