Over the last nine months, the Kansas City Royals have signaled that in the coming years, they will leave Truman Sports Complex in favor of a downtown ballpark. Such a move would leave the Kansas City Chiefs as Truman’s single tenant, so the team has been paying close attention to the Royals’ move.
On Friday, Chiefs president Mark Donovan spoke to media members at Missouri Western State University. And as he did, he outlined what the Royals’ choice might mean for their future plans.
“The partnership with the Royals has been great — and it’s really, really critical to both of us that we have a good partnership as we go through the decision-making process,” said Donovan. “We have been consistent every time we’ve spoken that it is a process, and it’s a very important process. We’re still in the process, but we’re making progress. I want to be consistent and reiterate something that Clark [Hunt] said last time he spoke on this.
“If everything plays out the way we think it’s going to play out, our preference is to upgrade and renovate the stadium at Arrowhead — and make GEHA Field even better. We’ve gone through the process of making progress there.”
Donovan said that the Chiefs maintain three “viable” options when it comes to the future of Arrowhead: 1) renovate the current stadium, 2) build a new stadium on-site or 3) build a new stadium elsewhere.
The Chiefs’ president added that no option had been ruled out as the club eyes the end of its lease in 2031. He had what he described as good and bad news regarding Arrowhead as it stands right now.
“The good news is we think the building itself is actually pretty structurally sound, which gives us the opportunity. Having said that... it’s going to take a significant annual investment to keep that building structurally sound. Another thing we’ve learned on the good and the bad, just like any project — there are certain days when you get that phone call that’s like, ‘Hey, we just found this. It might be an issue.’
“We’re talking about a core sample of cement that was built in 1970. Those issues could be significant and could factor into the decision, so headed toward doing what we want to do, making good progress towards that, still a lot of work to do and still a lot of due diligence to do.
“As it relates to the Royals and their decision, that factors in as well. If and when they go, they might create an opportunity for us. What does that mean? It gets really complicated. You got a sports complex now that has one tenant. How do you deal with that? We got a sports authority. In addition to our communication with the Royals, which is pretty consistent, we’re obviously talking to the mayor, to the governor, to the county, to the sports authority — and they’re all in the loop on what we’re doing and how we’re doing it and very supportive.”
So, in conclusion, there is no conclusion. Every option remains on the table — and with the end of the lease still almost 10 years away, the Chiefs continue to consider all possibilities.
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