O-Royals close in on new stadium

Sarpy County board agrees to build $20.3 million, 6,000-seat facility

Rosenblatt Stadium, home of the Royals, is slated for demolition after the 2010 season. (Omaha Royals)

By Benjamin Hill / Special to MLB.com | March 18, 2009 11:55 AM

It looks like the Omaha Royals have found a new home.

The Sarpy County board approved a stadium deal on Tuesday that would bring the franchise to the area in time for the 2011 season. The new location is necessary due to the fact that Rosenblatt Stadium, the O-Royals' current home as well as the site of the annual College World Series, is slated for demolition after the 2010 season.

Although the club initially considered ballpark scenarios that would have kept the team in downtown Omaha, team president Alan Stein announced in August that they would be looking into other options. Four months later, Sarpy County and the O-Royals agreed to a "memorandum of understanding" regarding the construction of a new stadium.

The stadium deal that was approved on Tuesday has been agreed to by county officials as well as the O-Royals ownership group. The 6,000-seat facility is scheduled to open in 2011, and is estimated to cost $20.3 million (with the maximum cost capped at $26 million). The O-Royals are slated to contribute approximately $3 million to the project, but the vast majority of the funding would come through county-issued bonds.

Once completed, Sarpy County will lease the facility to the Royals. A specific location for the ballpark is yet to be determined.

Benjamin Hill is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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