Early last year, voters in Jackson Co. approved $250 million in improvements to aging Kauffman Stadium for the Kansas City Royals. What the Royals have in mind for $900,000 of the total may redefine what is an "improvement".
The team plans to install a new control room, hardware and software at the center of a new state-of-the-art video and computer system that will allow the team to conduct better analysis of players. Currently —as reported by the KC Star—the Royals' "video nerve center is in a room the size of a closet that can barely hold two players, said Bob Rice, the team’s vice president of operations and stadium development. The new control room would be four times bigger."
Needless to say, some legislators are questioning the use of funds. “I cannot imagine that the taxpayers envisioned those types of expenditures being paid out of the bond funds,” Legislator Greg Grounds said.
The Royals have countered saying that the video system is the standard by which many clubs are now functioning. “It is an important piece to major-league teams,” said Kevin Uhlich, the Royals’ senior vice president for business operations. “Hopefully, it will make the team better.”
As further reported:
Royals officials say the entire cost of the video coaching system should be part of the Kauffman Stadium overhaul. They say other stadiums get new systems when they are built.
But the trend in sports is for private funds to pay for most or all of stadium construction, such as the Cardinals’ new stadium.
The Mariners, Rockies and Cardinals paid for their Panasonic [video system] upgrades.