Downtown ballpark and condos

Discussion about new sports facilities in Kansas City
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Postby bobbyhawks » Mon Aug 06, 2007 5:34 pm

Arguing about the past is pointless here.  There was a vote...  There will be renovations (fear is a powerful tool)...  A downtown stadium will be built in 2025 hovering above the Sprint Center.

Does anyone think that putting a soccer stadium downtown or close to downtown is a good idea?  I don't see or hear the same passionate backing for placing a new venue closer to the core than Bannister Mall.  Maybe this is a way to stick it to the old brass ownership at TSC.  If the Wizards can be successful downtown, it's obvious that 81 games a year of America's past-time could have done it.  If anyone saw the X-Games recently, you can see that these stadiums can be used for a handful of other competitions as well, though it would also be a decent draw for regional high school and college games. 

A lot of people assume that you have to put soccer close to kids in the suburbs because they are the fan-base.  I don't get this for two reasons: a) Kids don't have money and b) Suburbanites are already accustomed to driving 45 minutes to get anywhere in the city.  What is the difference between having some outliers drive 20 minutes vs. 40 minutes (other than 20 minutes).  I say put the stadium closer to the core so that it is a fair distance from every suburb, close to a KCK Latino population who already appreciates soccer, and close to an already developed infrastructure that can be enhanced (rather than subsidize a copy of West Village/Zona Rosa).  Is the youth complex that important to the plan, or does the ownership just want it closer to their homes in Lock Lloyd?

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Postby KCTigerFan » Mon Aug 06, 2007 5:37 pm

Soccer in or near DT is appealing.  The problem comes with wanting 12+ soccer fields to complimment the stadium.  That is when the event footprint gets very big and becomes untenible in most situations.  Thus the desire to be located at a major highway interchange and utilize a large area of commercial space that desperatly needs redevelopment.   

bobbyhawks wrote:Arguing about the past is pointless here.  There was a vote...  There will be renovations (fear is a powerful tool)...  A downtown stadium will be built in 2025 hovering above the Sprint Center.

Does anyone think that putting a soccer stadium downtown or close to downtown is a good idea?  I don't see or hear the same passionate backing for placing a new venue closer to the core than Bannister Mall.  Maybe this is a way to stick it to the old brass ownership at TSC.  If the Wizards can be successful downtown, it's obvious that 81 games a year of America's past-time could have done it.  If anyone saw the X-Games recently, you can see that these stadiums can be used for a handful of other competitions as well, though it would also be a decent draw for regional high school and college games. 

A lot of people assume that you have to put soccer close to kids in the suburbs because they are the fan-base.  I don't get this for two reasons: a) Kids don't have money and b) Suburbanites are already accustomed to driving 45 minutes to get anywhere in the city.  What is the difference between having some outliers drive 20 minutes vs. 40 minutes (other than 20 minutes).  I say put the stadium closer to the core so that it is a fair distance from every suburb, close to a KCK Latino population who already appreciates soccer, and close to an already developed infrastructure that can be enhanced (rather than subsidize a copy of West Village/Zona Rosa).  Is the youth complex that important to the plan, or does the ownership just want it closer to their homes in Lock Lloyd?


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Postby Maitre D » Mon Aug 06, 2007 6:11 pm

bobbyhawks wrote:Arguing about the past is pointless here.  There was a vote...  There will be renovations (fear is a powerful tool)... 


I think it's sometimes dangerous to say, "The past is the past"  Not to break out the Iraq example again....but what if people just told opponents: "Tough deal, vote was done, the past is the past".    Well, mistakes are made in politics and development - to just ignore it all, I think is a bad idea. 

We still talk about where we put the airport, why light rail continued to fail (Hey!  Past is the past you ligh rail advocates, now shut up and let us all drive cars!)......and how JoCo came to be.  People complain about JoCo constantly.  Isn't that "done"??    Point: Maybe by talking about issues, we can prevent new mistakes.



A lot of people assume that you have to put soccer close to kids in the suburbs because they are the fan-base.  I don't get this for two reasons: a) Kids don't have money and b) Suburbanites are already accustomed to driving 45 minutes to get anywhere in the city.  What is the difference between having some outliers drive 20 minutes vs. 40 minutes (other than 20 minutes).


Parents will drive their kids 40 mins, to areas they deem "safe".  But not to DT. It would fail down there for sure. 

I say put the stadium closer to the core so that it is a fair distance from every suburb, close to a KCK Latino population who already appreciates soccer,


They appreicate the Mexican n'l team and Chivas in LA, with some international interest too.  but they largely don't show up for MLS games.
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Postby aknowledgeableperson » Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:27 pm

Maitre D wrote:You've got one mighty thick noggin, don't you?

One more time....altho I'm sure you still won't understand....the public's will isn't always put on ballott.  We don't have a vote on whether to continue in Iraq, and we don't have an option on what to do with TSC.

You still haven't figured out that this deal was driven by the ownership of hte 2 teams.  It had very little to do with the public's preference.   Why is this so hard to understand?


NO!!!!!!!!
You are the one with the thick one, head on the shoulders that is.

I still don't know where the "public will" was concerning a dt stadium.  Yes, there were a few voices but face it the issue was dead not because of the politicians but because the politicians did not hear enough from the voters to make it an issue.
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Postby kcmetro » Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:45 pm

kcdcchef wrote:btw, metro, since the tsc is in an old field, why are you not excited for it??


Once again, your analogy doesn't make any sense. You won't see me pushing for Schlitterbahn to relocate to the Crossroads just because it's in the urban core. It wouldn't fit there. Likewise, I wouldn't be any happier about this if they put a new ballpark in VW...it would be the same thing as TSC.

A ballpark would do a lot for downtown...something FF and any other artsy/PAC event could never do. For someone who is such a fan of KCMO, I'd think you'd be pushing for a dt ballpark. But face it...you were just so fearful of losing the teams to KS or another city, that you gave in and bent over for David Glass.

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Postby jlbomega » Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:56 pm

aknowledgeableperson wrote:First, there was never the option to build Kemper DT. 


You're exactly right, because Mr. Kemper had a lot of land to sell the city in the West Bottoms.  He pushed the cities buttons and got paid to build an arena in the wrong place.  The same thing happened with the TSC vote.  People were not proposed with the best option because it was not in the best interests of the people in power.  Just like Kemper in the 70s and Shields this time around.  Shields didn't want a downtown stadium because she didn't want to answer questions such as "where has all of the money gone that was supposed to be used for upkeep on the stadiums", Mr. Glass wanted to keep his parking money, and Lamar wanted a free stadium.

aknowledgeableperson wrote:Second, KC never had baseball downtown.  I do not believe you will find many who will say that 22nd and Brooklyn is dt.


I think you couldn't be more wrong.  22nd and Brooklyn was very much considered downtown in the 60s and it still is by many today.

I invite you to go back and read why many of the people who voted for renovations did so.  In exit polls people stated they did not want to finance the stadiums and/or they preferred downtown baseball, however they feared if the vote did not pass the teams would leave.  The TSC was passed by a powerful group of people in this city that used scare tactics to get what they wanted out of the voters.  It's that simple.  If there was an option Downtown baseball would have passed overwhelmingly.

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Postby aknowledgeableperson » Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:20 am

jlbomega wrote:You're exactly right, because Mr. Kemper had a lot of land to sell the city in the West Bottoms. I think you couldn't be more wrong. 

22nd and Brooklyn was very much considered downtown in the 60s and it still is by many today.

I invite you to go back and read why many of the people who voted for renovations did so.  In exit polls people stated they did not want to finance the stadiums and/or they preferred downtown baseball, however they feared if the vote did not pass the teams would leave.  The TSC was passed by a powerful group of people in this city that used scare tactics to get what they wanted out of the voters.  It's that simple.  If there was an option Downtown baseball would have passed overwhelmingly.


Most of the land used for the arena was already owned by the American Royal.  Other land was owned by Sutherland Lumber (or family).  And other land by the stockyards.  Kemper or family did not own any land in the bottoms that I am aware of.

22nd and Brooklyn is not considered to be dt, either by yesterday's standards nor today's.  Nearby, yes.  In, no.

Please refer to actual poll numbers if you wish to make that statement about it passing overwhelmingly.  Listen, even the Downtown Council came out in support of the TSC proposal.  So if there really was that strong of support for the facility where was it.  I didn't see it nor do I see it now.
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Postby AllThingsKC » Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:53 am

kcmetro wrote:That's why I don't see how one can be a fan of the TSC renovations and a fan of downtown redevelopment at the same time. One negates the other. There's no denying that if there was a downtown ballpark, even if publicly subsidized, that the condo towers would already be going up.


Alright, I'll also take this bait (I don't do this very often, so bear with me if I seem a little rusty).

I know many people who voted for the TSC renovations AND are Pro-Downtown. - Some of them are my neighbors who live DOWNTOWN.

What were the chances of a downtown ballpark getting off the ground? - Were there not many, many groups and proposals for a DT ballpark?  And yet, it never came close to reality.  Why? 

I think one reason is that fact that David Glass came out AGAINST a DT ballpark, saying that "our fans don't want us to move downtown." - That kind of statement can make a lot of undecided voters make a decision, thinking they want what "the rest of the city" wants.  Also, I'll remind you that the person who probably has helped downtown the most (Mayor Kay Barnes) over the past several years was also "for" the TSC.  Does that mean that MKB hates downtown?  I don't think so.  Who knows?  She might have even tried to get the Royals downtown.  I think that perhaps she saw that it just wasn't going to happen.

I dare suggest that perhaps DT ballpark PROBABLY wouldn't have happened in the first place, after all the chances it had.

I wanted a downtown ballpark.  I STILL want a downtown ballpark.  But, I don't think that would have happened anyway.

Anyway, my whole point is that just because someone may have been for the TSC, doesn't mean that they don't care about downtown.
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Postby Maitre D » Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:09 am

AllThingsKC wrote:I think one reason is that fact that David Glass came out AGAINST a DT ballpark, saying that "our fans don't want us to move downtown." - That kind of statement can make a lot of undecided voters make a decision, thinking they want what "the rest of the city" wants


Not at first, he wasn't against it.  As I reported earlier, my uncle is close friends with an HOK principal.  At the opening game of the STL ballpark, he told my uncle the story about their meeting with the Glass-Holes.   Mr. Wal-Mart notified HOK that they were willing to spend, oh, about 25-30M of their own money on a DT park.   HOK tried not to laugh at them.

Once they figured out that a DT park would require 100M in private money (and probably 225M in public money, which is what they ended up getting), Mr. Wal-Mart ran for the hills.   Sure, 50M of that could've come from naming rights, but that's another 50M he'd have to pony up.

Since he's never, ever, ever cared about the Royals Franchise - why would he put in 50M to a stadium when he could get renovations for free?
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Re: Downtown ballpark and condos

Postby mykem » Tue Aug 07, 2007 3:16 pm

If I remember right, The owners, and the politicians said this was plan B, and there wasn't another plan out there if this one failed. (plan A was the failed bi-state) K. Shields did an interview with channel 38, and she said the Chiefs were going to begin talks with San Antonio, and Los Angeles if the plan failed. People were scared of losing these teams. If dt baseball was on the ballot I believe it would have won despite the lack of political, team owners, and the KC Star's support.

But, what is done, is done. I fully support the renovations now. I'm not ready to say how awful they are until the entire project is complete.

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Re: Downtown ballpark and condos

Postby Maitre D » Wed Aug 08, 2007 9:19 am

I don't care if they build the Taj Mahal out there - it's still a suburban stadium, far away from the core and where baseball and really, MOST assets need to be.


The area around Kauffman is disgusting and blighted, anyway.  Not like Village West.  Drive 5 min in any direction from the ballpark, and you run into broken down homes, cracked sidewalks and litter on the streets. 

It's not a dangerous area, but it's soooooo low-rent.  That's why development will never ever ever ever ever happen there.
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Re: Downtown ballpark and condos

Postby rxlexi » Tue Aug 14, 2007 5:32 pm

I've come around to the idea that a downtown ballpark was a horribly missed opportunity, though I am not entirely unhappy that we're keeping Kauffman; it remains an architectural icon for its era and will only continue to become more unique as time passes.  That being said, and with the renovations essentially set in stone, can't someone, somewhere please build one freaking baseball bar(!!!) somewhere in the vicinity of the TSC or even in the parking lots?  I'm not asking for an uber urban environment with dense walkable streets, just ONE PLACE, or maybe two if we get really lucky, that one can walk or drive to very near the stadiums, and mingle with fellow Royal/Chiefs fans.  Give me something else out there in that funny little run down neighborhood to enjoy on gameday.  It always amazes me that there is NOTHING post-game, near the TSC.  The clarion bar is depressing and cannot be seen from the street, and even the Taco Bell is usually drive thru only post-game (I've walked up and checked!)...a sad, sad state of affairs.  Where could one put a bar in the TSC area, any thoughts? 

  Additionally, I've got to add that while snaking around on the north side of I70 pregame a few weeks ago, I was driving down one of the nearby residential streets and noticed a number of lots across from Kauffman that basically are looking right into the stadium.  I thought, what a sweet teardown opportunity (and I rarely ever utter those words), considering the quality of the housing there currently.  I wonder what those homes cost?  And then, as MD stated, I realized that given the rest of the surrounding neighborhood and its proximity from the urban core, maybe it wasn't as sweet an opportunity as I had thought :(
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Re: Downtown ballpark and condos

Postby KCTigerFan » Tue Aug 14, 2007 5:40 pm

Agree 100%.  There are a few little dive bars that can be fun near the stadium.  head east on Blue Ridge to 50Hwy intersection.  There is a place called RG's that isn't a bad gameday place.  On down closer to Cool Crest are a few places that would be defined as vintage, such as Bamboo Hut.

There could have been some great opportunity across from the stadiums but they have blown that thus far.  Perhaps the new design will include access to the dining/bar area in left field before game time. 

rxlexi wrote: I've come around to the idea that a downtown ballpark was a horribly missed opportunity, though I am not entirely unhappy that we're keeping Kauffman; it remains an architectural icon for its era and will only continue to become more unique as time passes.  That being said, and with the renovations essentially set in stone, can't someone, somewhere please build one freaking baseball bar(!!!) somewhere in the vicinity of the TSC or even in the parking lots?  I'm not asking for an uber urban environment with dense walkable streets, just ONE PLACE, or maybe two if we get really lucky, that one can walk or drive to very near the stadiums, and mingle with fellow Royal/Chiefs fans.  Give me something else out there in that funny little run down neighborhood to enjoy on gameday.  It always amazes me that there is NOTHING post-game, near the TSC.  The clarion bar is depressing and cannot be seen from the street, and even the Taco Bell is usually drive thru only post-game (I've walked up and checked!)...a sad, sad state of affairs.  Where could one put a bar in the TSC area, any thoughts? 

  Additionally, I've got to add that while snaking around on the north side of I70 pregame a few weeks ago, I was driving down one of the nearby residential streets and noticed a number of lots across from Kauffman that basically are looking right into the stadium.  I thought, what a sweet teardown opportunity (and I rarely ever utter those words), considering the quality of the housing there currently.  I wonder what those homes cost?  And then, as MD stated, I realized that given the rest of the surrounding neighborhood and its proximity from the urban core, maybe it wasn't as sweet an opportunity as I had thought :(

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Re: Downtown ballpark and condos

Postby DaveKCMO » Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:09 pm

is it ever likely until you wrest the teams away from county control?

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Re: Downtown ballpark and condos

Postby Maitre D » Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:30 pm

rxlexi wrote: That being said, and with the renovations essentially set in stone, can't someone, somewhere please build one freaking baseball bar(!!!) somewhere in the vicinity of the TSC or even in the parking lots?  I'm not asking for an uber urban environment with dense walkable streets, just ONE PLACE, or maybe two if we get really lucky, that one can walk or drive to very near the stadiums, and mingle with fellow Royal/Chiefs fans. 



The lack of development is a clear & total indictment of the viability of the area. 

We had no development there before the renovations, that we all know.  But the fact that nothing...NOTHING!...has been announced since the renovation vote passed, shows just how sickly the TSC area is.  Don't hold your breath waiting on activity in the area. 
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Re: Downtown ballpark and condos

Postby rxlexi » Wed Aug 15, 2007 11:25 pm

you really nailed it MD.  I can't believe these teams just signed 25+ year leases out there, with promising young teams and a relatively high-quality fan base, and there still hasn't been a single mention of a single crappy bar/restaraunt/retail or general improvement (outside of the potential 'waterpark' at clarion) anywhere near the TSC.  We don't need a 'ballpark village' or quaint old neighborhood or downtown skyline...we DO need to turn an area that hundreds and hundreds of thousands of KCians and visitors use every year into something more than a poorly lit parking lot next to a Taco Bell and Denny's.
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Re: Downtown ballpark and condos

Postby Maitre D » Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:54 pm

rxlexi wrote: you really nailed it MD.  I can't believe these teams just signed 25+ year leases out there, with promising young teams and a relatively high-quality fan base, and there still hasn't been a single mention of a single crappy bar/restaraunt/retail or general improvement (outside of the potential 'waterpark' at clarion) anywhere near the TSC.  We don't need a 'ballpark village' or quaint old neighborhood or downtown skyline...we DO need to turn an area that hundreds and hundreds of thousands of KCians and visitors use every year into something more than a poorly lit parking lot next to a Taco Bell and Denny's.


It makes me cringe.  Just when KC is on the verge of doing some really incredible things, they regress into this garbage behavior again.

Imagine your condo at The Broadway - overlooking the PAC, P&L/Sprint Center, and a ballpark.  Man alive, would've been one of hte best DTs in the nation IMO.  And I'm being 100% honest, it would've been.
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Re: Downtown ballpark and condos

Postby aknowledgeableperson » Fri Aug 17, 2007 12:21 am

would have been hard to see a baseball stadium if it would have been built on the north side of downtown.
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Re: Downtown ballpark and condos

Postby KCPowercat » Fri Aug 17, 2007 12:27 am

If KCMO bought up all the land around the TSC under eminent domain and handed it over to a master developer...you'd see something built there.  Just like you did in an equally dead and lack of progress area of KCK surrounding the nascar track.

Downtown baseball would have been fun....couldn't do it w/o the owner's buy-in....so let's make the best out of what we got....at least we can tailgate.  Baseball stadium close to my condo only means drunk dudes stumbling around.....and I do enough of that already....see, there is a bright side.
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Re: Downtown ballpark and condos

Postby GRID » Fri Aug 17, 2007 1:07 am

KCPowercat wrote:If KCMO bought up all the land around the TSC under eminent domain and handed it over to a master developer...you'd see something built there.  Just like you did in an equally dead and lack of progress area of KCK surrounding the nascar track.

Downtown baseball would have been fun....couldn't do it w/o the owner's buy-in....so let's make the best out of what we got....at least we can tailgate.  Baseball stadium close to my condo only means drunk dudes stumbling around.....and I do enough of that already....see, there is a bright side.


Problem is KCMO has nothing to do with the TSC, it's Jackson County and neither one of them have any interest in getting into the development business.

There is a pretty big difference between what happened in KCK and what could happen by the TSC.  A few include, retail won't work there, the terrain is crazy, there are these massive parking lots that create an island, jackson county is already served with plenty of retail out east etc.

Let's say Indep Center didn't exist.  If Jax County bought all that land and put in an IKEA and supertiffed the IKEA to build Indep Center to serve an area that has no retail and there is no risk to the developer building the project because everything from the ground to the roads to the actual buildings were funded by some portion of tif, star bonds, state money, etc.

Not going to happen at the TSC, plus I think KCMO has its hands full and really couldn't care less about the TSC.  They really need to take care of Bannister Mall right now.

Here is what "should" happen there if KCMO and JAX did have a vision to improve the area:

Forget Jax County's land outside the stadium.  The land they have is isolated and and not high profile, plus it's extremely rough terrain.  Nothing is ever going to be built on Raytown Road south of stadiums.  There is a reason that land has been nothing more than it has.  Rough terrain, little infrastructure, bad schools and traffic jams every couple of days.

KCMO on the other hand should condem the land across I-70 and across Blue Ridge and start tearing down crap properties.  The land across I-70 would be a great location for a new mixed use project.  Some retail like cafes etc, a new hotel, some office and even residential condos etc.

The area on the east side of Blue Ridge would be a great location for similar development or some family type attractions like mini golf, go-carts, arcade etc.  Like a D&B or something even.  Build up the area like the ballpark in Arlington as a family attraction.

As far as Jackson County, they just don't have a clue IMO or they would be doing everything in their power to get that rolling roof built or to get a new hotel or something built next to or between the stadiums to take the complex itself to the next level.  The land they have could accommodate an outdoor amphitheater or a soccer stadium for the wizards because the parking is already there.

If Jackson County did this the TSC would stay busy all the time.  Soccer, concerts, conventions, whatever, not to mention events like the super bowl and final four.

I don't see any of this happening though.  Too bad.


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