It was announced earlier this week that the American Royal will be moving across the stateline from Missouri to Kansas for a new $160 million complex. An agreement was arraigned between the American Royal Association, State of Kansas and Unified Government to relocate into Wyandotte County, Kan.
The American Royal began in 1899 as the National Hereford Show. Spanning more than a century the annual cattle exhibition has added number of other livestock shows, equestrian events, rodeos and the world’s largest barbecue competition. It is currently located in the West Bottoms region of Kansas City, Mo. that was home to the Kansas City Stockyards.
Along with the annual American Royal, the association and current facilities hosts more than 50 events each year. An estimated $60 million worth of economic impact from approximately 270,000 attendees is brought to the area.
“Our priorities in the due diligence process were to find a regional home that would allow us to fulfill our mission, accommodate our growing events and allow for future growth. We have found the ideal location to do just that,” says Angie Stanland, chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Royal.
The new complex will be located northwest of the Kansas Speedway near the intersection of Interstates I-70 and I-435 West.
Funding for the project would come through sales tax revenue (STAR) bonds authorized by the State of Kansas for $80 million dollars. This would cover half of the estimated facility construction. The remainder would come from donations.
“Kansas is committed to providing opportunities to encourage additional growth and expansion of agriculture in the state and far beyond its borders," says Governor Sam Brownback. "A new home for the American Royal complex in Kansas enhances the overall agricultural focus in the state and elevates Kansas’ prominence in the U.S. agricultural industry.”
Facilities at the new American Royal complex include a 5,000-8,000 seat arena, along with a smaller venue seating 2,000 people. An agricultural education center will be built to help people gain knowledge about modern agriculture.