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Another Jackson County city making pitch to get new Royals stadium

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — It’s a late pitch, and maybe a wild one, from the city of Independence, hoping to land a new Kansas City Royals stadium.

At Wednesday night’s city council meeting, Independence City Manager Zach Walker said they might propose the Independence Center location to the team.

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Part of this is because the people who own the mall have the building up for sale.

It’s important to point out the Royals have never considered this site, instead looking farther west in Jackson County and previously in Clay County.

But now a new sign has popped up in Independence, making a push to bring the Royals to the city.

Walker updated the city council Wednesday night.

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“There are more registered voters with the Jackson County Election Board than are with the Kansas City Election Board, which represents that part of Kansas City that falls within Jackson County,” he said.

Walker said that’s part of the message he’s tried to convey to the Royals. He argues that ballot questions that need countywide approval have failed because of how people outside Kansas City vote.

“As Eastern Jackson County goes, so go the county issues,” Walker said Wednesday night.

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“We think a stadium that’s located in Eastern Jackson County would probably be more likely to gain support of the voters, certainly not a guarantee by any stretch of the imagination but potentially more favorable than a downtown ballpark.”

One person listening to Walker on Wednesday night was Independence Mayor Rory Rowland. He’s not worried about what people will think.

“We’ve presented the idea to a number of people and they like it,” Rowland said.

The Independence mayor said he’s only talked to one voter who wants the Royals to go to downtown Kansas City. He said the Royals need to have an incredible campaign to get people to vote yes.

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However the Royals and Chiefs will be on the same ballot question, and if voters say yes, the Chiefs will get tax revenue to renovate Arrowhead Stadium.

“You know if Patrick Mahomes goes out and promotes it, it may in fact,” Rowland said. “But we’ll have to see what the campaign is, but right now as it stands, if we have the vote tomorrow, it would not pass.”

Walker said he’s sent messages to the Royals’ ownership group, but he hasn’t heard back yet.

Regardless, the city has an advertisement up on a billboard in the Cable Dahmer Arena parking lot making its stance clear: “Independence wants the Royals.”

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