A Kansas City tradition is moving to the Kansas side of the state line. The American Royal has reached an agreement with the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, to bring its equestrian shows, livestock show, rodeos, agricultural education programs and its famous World Series of Barbecue to a new location and a new facility in Wyandotte County.
The new complex—expected to cost $160 million—will include arena space, exhibit space, high-quality barn/expo space, and a new agriculture education center and museum.
The move was announced on Tuesday at an event on the grounds of Kansas Speedway, where Angie Stanland, American Royal board chairman said that her organization had been seeking “a regional home that would allow us to fulfill our mission, accommodate our growing events and allow for future growth.” She went on to say, “We have found the ideal location to do just that.”
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, on hand for the announcement, said “The American Royal will serve as a focal point in helping us continue to build a vibrant animal and agriculture corridor from Wyandotte County to Manhattan, home of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.”
“This new hub has the potential to be a gamechanger for the Animal Health Corridor and the Midwest” said Kansas City, Kansas’ Mayor Mark Holland, representing the Unified Government.
In a press release, Kansas City, Missouri’s Mayor Sly James said, “I wish the Royal the absolute best and look forward to seeing what the future holds for the organization,” adding, “I’m committed to working with the City Manager and Council to make the West Bottoms as lively as it was when the first American Royal Show debuted in 1905.”