Yael T. Abouhalkah

Surprising poll results for building new Royals downtown stadium

The Kansas City Royals should keep playing at Kauffman Stadium in the Truman Sports Complex and not move to a new downtown stadium, according to most respondents in a recent Star poll.
The Kansas City Royals should keep playing at Kauffman Stadium in the Truman Sports Complex and not move to a new downtown stadium, according to most respondents in a recent Star poll. The Kansas City Star

Fresh from their euphoria over seeing the Royals in the World Series, Kansas City’s baseball fans are dreaming of even better days ahead.

Promoters of a new downtown stadium for the team are trying to tap into that excitement. They once again are bringing up the tantalizing possibility of building a ballpark in the urban core sometime in the future.

However, as a recent poll in The Star shows, most Kansas Citians are not at all interested in pursuing that project at this time. That’s a bit shocking, given all the momentum behind creating a more lively downtown.

Here are results from the unscientific poll, which attracted more than 5,250 votes, to this question: “Should taxpayers build a downtown stadium for the Royals?”

▪ Strongly agree — 26 percent

▪ Agree — 9 percent

▪ Disagree — 14 percent

▪ Absolutely not — 51 percent

That’s a pretty strong vote of 65 percent opposition to the idea.

Readers offered several dozen comments.

Some detractors appropriately said it would be foolish to leave Kauffman Stadium after taxpayers spent more than $225 million to renovate it just five years ago. The Royals also have a lease to play at the Truman Sports Complex through 2031.

Critics also wondered just how much more the public would have to do in the future to help the Royals and professional sports with subsidized stadiums.

Promoters of the new ballpark said downtown would benefit from having a stadium in the area, furthering its revival.

Despite the poll results, you can be assured that backers of the downtown stadium won’t let this project drop.

It likely will be pursued for many years, no matter how the Royals do on the field in that time.

To reach editorial page columnist Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Twitter @YaelTAbouhalkah.

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