COLUMBIA, Mo. — Future State Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden says he has not talked to any lawmakers or the Kansas City Royals about their push for a new stadium.
“We want to do everything we can to support what they’re doing,” Rowden said in an interview with FOX4 Wednesday. “I’m not from Kansas City, obviously, but downtown ballparks generally bring a lot of vibrance and a lot of excitement to the downtown areas, which I think can be a good thing for anybody.”
Previously, Royals Chairman and CEO John Sherman had said they had planned to ask the state to help fund their $2 billion new ballpark and district.
“I think there’s a lot of information left to be determined,” Rowden said. “But we want to try to find the balance between supporting the teams and supporting the institutions and entities that are doing a lot to bring jobs and economic activity to Kansas City and St. Louis, so we’ll try to figure out what that balance is.”
In 2002, the St. Louis Cardinals, the city of St. Louis, St. Louis County, and Missouri agreed to finance a new ballpark for the Cardinals.
“For me, it’s just way too early to know exactly what the logistics are,” Rowden continued.
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas could not attend the public meeting the Royals put on Tuesday night.
“If they are interested in having a conversation about moving the stadiums with no increased cost to the taxpayers, that’s great,” Lucas said Wednesday. “I don’t necessarily believe that that’s what the long-term item is.”
He says if the team’s interested in asking the state and city for money, along with asking Jackson County voters to extend the 3/8th cent sales tax past 2031, he says there will be many more questions of the team.
“I’m going to wait until they answer a whole heck of a lot of them before we’re stepping in on what the city is or is not doing,” Lucas continued.
The Royals have not shared how much public money they think they’d need to build their ballpark district.
“Last night John said a significant part of the stadium capital would be private and that the district development would be mostly if not all private,” Kansas City Royals Vice President of Communications Sam Mellinger said in an email to FOX4 Wednesday.
When it comes to what the Chiefs want if the state can give the Royals money, Rowden said lawmakers would cross that bridge when they get there.
“I think you could probably hypothesize a whole host of ways that this thing could go,” Rowden continued. “But until you have the conversations with them, figure out what the ask is, ya know, what the realistic possibilities are for the state to be a partner or not, I think everything else is just trying to come up with scenarios that may or may not happen.”