• Loading stock data...
Saturday, May 18, 2024

A Wild Week in Stadium News for the Coyotes, A’s, Royals, and Chiefs

  • Venue-related developments take shape in Phoenix, Sacramento, and Kansas City.
  • The wife of Royals owner John Sherman says the team, and the Chiefs, will not reengage with Jackson County, Mo.
Arizona Coyotes/Gensler

A dramatic string of days in pro sports venue development—one that included a stinging voter rebuke of proposed stadium funding for the Royals and Chiefs in Kansas City and unanimous council approval of renovations to D.C.’s Capital One Arena—is ending with a flurry of additional facility-related events across the country. 

Among the latest happenings:


The Coyotes are taking their last and maybe best shot at a long-elusive arena and mixed-use development in the Valley of the Sun, announcing plans to bid in a public land auction for a 110-acre parcel of state-owned land in north Phoenix. After being previously rejected by voters in Tempe, Ariz., the NHL team began to focus on the north Phoenix property.

The auction is set for June 27, with an initial appraisal price of $68.5 million, and that outlay would become part of what is now envisioned as a $3 billion, privately funded project in total. 

In addition to the arena (above), the project would include a team practice facility and headquarters, a live music theater, a public plaza, retail space, offices, and about 1,900 luxury residential units. 

The stakes are enormous. If the Coyotes fail to win the land auction, team officials have already said that relocation becomes a very real option. Even before that, Salt Lake City had already made its intentions known of having an NHL franchise there, and the NHL Players’ Association has also pushed for a solution to the Coyotes’ arena problems that have stretched over many years. 


Perhaps ironically, the Coyotes are now also serving as something of a model for the minimum three-year stay the A’s have planned at Sacramento’s Sutter Health Park, a minor league facility. The Coyotes are currently playing at Arizona State University’s 5,000-seat Mullett Arena—by far the NHL’s smallest venue—while it pursues that new arena, but they have still seen ticket revenue rise compared to prior home games in Glendale, Ariz.

The A’s—along with new partner Vivek Ranadivé, who owns the Sacramento River Cats and Kings—are aiming for a similar dynamic playing in the 14,000-seat Sutter Health Park, and insist the team can quickly transform into a hot ticket. To that end, A’s owner John Fisher even went so far as to tout the forthcoming fan appeal of seeing his pitchers get lit up for home runs by their opposition.

“We’re excited to be here for the next three years playing in this beautiful ballpark,” Fisher said. “But also being able to watch some of the greatest players in baseball, whether they be Athletics players or [Yankees slugger] Aaron Judge and others launch home runs out of … the most intimate ballpark in all of Major League Baseball.”

Despite that novelty, the A’s still are by far MLB’s worst draw, averaging just 6,438 per game. That number could sink even further with the end in Oakland now solidified for the conclusion of the 2024 season, in turn lowering the bar for the A’s to clear at Sutter Health Park, which will receive a series of upgrades to adhere to MLB standards.

The shift of the A’s to the California capital, meanwhile, will also result in a still-undetermined number of job losses for both full- and part-time team staffers after the current season, as the A’s will lean on the River Cats for some front office and game operations duties starting next year. 

Kansas City

There is still no defined alternate plan for the Royals to build a new ballpark or the Chiefs to renovate Arrowhead Stadium following Tuesday’s defeat at the ballot box. But momentum continues to build toward the teams not staying in Jackson County, Mo., following the early 2031 completion of their current stadium leases.

Marny Sherman, the wife of Royals owner John Sherman, gave voice to that notion in a Facebook post strongly suggesting both teams will relocate. 

“Unfortunately neither team will work with Jackson County again,” Marny wrote. “They had been working behind the scenes for two years attempting to get a location approved. … The lack of leadership has lost the city two treasured assets. I mean if you don’t support the Chiefs after three Super Bowl wins, why would they stay? We will be lucky if both teams wind up in Kansas. At least still in the area!”

Indeed, leaders across the border in Kansas are beginning to mount their own pitches for the team. But Kansas City mayor Quinton Lucas has not given up on retaining the teams, and he said Friday, “I thank John Sherman of the Royals for a good conversation [Thursday] concerning continuing work with Kansas City about the future. We are committed to maintaining the presence of both teams in our community.”

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

February 5, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; The grounds of the Capitol Building empty out following the conclusion of President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech on February 5, 2019.

‘A Breathtaking Lobbying Campaign’: The NCAA’s Sophisticated Effort to Save Amateurism

Inside the carefully coordinated, multimillion-dollar operation to end the athletes’ rights era.

Chaos at the PGA Championship: Here’s What We Know

The No. 1 golfer in the world nearly didn’t make it to Valhalla Golf Club.

Mets Owner Faces Backlash After Tweet Sparks Trade Speculation

Mets owner Steve Cohen is walking back a now deleted tweet that further riled an impatient fan base.

The WNBA Rookies Are Creating a New Celebrity Row

Major celebs like Kim Kardashian and Latto are showing up for the newbies.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

MLB, NBA, NHL Broadcasting Future Goes to Court


Featured Today

The WNBA Was Forged in Houston. Why Won’t It Go Back There?

Houston’s a perfect fit for expansion. The league isn’t considering it yet.
May 9, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) stands with the team during the national anthem on Thursday, May 9, 2024, during the preseason game against the Atlanta Dream at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
May 12, 2024

‘Perfect Storm’: The Rise of Local WNBA Broadcast Pacts

With national attention reaching new heights, regional coverage could dictate the future.
Mar 29, 2023; New York, New York, USA; American actors and comedians Chris Rock (left) and Ben Stiller sit court side during the third quarter between the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden.
May 11, 2024

The Haves and Have-Nots: How the Knicks’ Celebrity Row Works

Unwritten rules, an expectation of quid pro quo, and nothing is free.
May 6, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Red Bull driver Max Verstappen (1) of the Netherlands walks through the garage area following qualifying for the Miami Grand Prix at Miami International Autodrome.
May 5, 2024

Max Verstappen Is Unstoppable. Is That Hurting F1 With New American Fans?

Formula One could be facing an inevitable plateau in the United States.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Live Nation
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers
Jaguars rendering 2024

Jags’ Latest Stadium Plan: $1.4B in Upgrades, Relocate for ’27 Season

The NFL team and Jacksonville mayor Donna Deegan presented a new stadium renovation agreement.
May 3, 2024

RFK’s Demolition Could Fast-Track Commanders’ Return to D.C.

The National Park Service gives the official green light to demolish the vacant facility.
May 9, 2024

Meet the … Utah Yeti? NHL Franchise Polling 20 Options for New Team Name

Jerseys will say ‘Utah’ for next season.

Major League Rugby’s Vision for American Rugby

How Major League Rugby is leading the Rugby renaissance in the U.S.
May 2, 2024

Bears’ $4.7 Billion Stadium Pitch Caught in a Game of Political Football

The office of Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker brands the team’s stadium proposal as a ‘nonstarter.’
May 1, 2024

Chiefs, Browns’ Stadium Renderings: Familiar Looking and … Premature?

New renderings and funding proposals begin to take shape long before any stadium deals are finalized.
April 30, 2024

Not a Done Deal: Arlington Heights Keeps Its Bears Stadium Hopes Alive

Arlington Heights’ mayor says the village is ready to restart stadium talks with the NFL team.
April 30, 2024

The A’s Still Have a $1.5B Question: Where’s the Money Coming From?

Team owner John Fisher reportedly looks to raise $500 million to help fund a new ballpark.