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American Royal moving from Missouri to Kansas

A groundbreaking for a new 115-acre facility in Wyandotte County, Kan., is scheduled for the spring of 2020.

December 18, 2019

3 Min Read
architectural rendering of new American Royal facility in Kansas
NEW LOOK: After 120 years in Missouri, the American Royal is heading west to Kansas. This architectural rendering shows what the new facility will look like. American Royal Association

The American Royal is one step closer to moving from Missouri to Kansas.

First known as the National Hereford Show in 1899, the show changed its name in 1902 to the American Royal and has been a staple near the Kansas Stockyards in Kansas City, Mo. But four years ago, the American Royal Association started looking at moving its location.

The association’s vision is to be the national destination for the food and agriculture industry, or what it calls the “Epicenter of Agriculture.” To that end, the association recently acquired 115 acres in Wyandotte County, Kan.

The American Royal bought 47 acres in 2019. Recently, the Patterson Family Foundation acquired 80 neighboring acres and signed a 99-year lease agreement with the American Royal Association for 68 of those acres, providing the American Royal a total of 115 acres for the new complex.

“My late father, Neal Patterson, believed in the value the American Royal holds for the future of agriculture,” Lindsey Patterson Smith, member of the American Royal Board of Directors and director of the Patterson Family Foundation, said in a news release. “While we wish he were here to see this progress, my family and I are proud to be involved in this important initiative and are excited to see what the future holds.

"This is about more than just building a state-of-the-art complex. It is about creating a place where relevant conversations and events around food, fiber and fuel happen. The American Royal will be a hub that brings people of all ages and backgrounds together to celebrate and advance the industry that impacts all of us every day.”

sign designating site of new American Royal location in Kansas

SITE PREP: Although the land for the new American Royal location is bare now, work will start in the spring of 2020.

New facility

Earlier this fall, the American Royal submitted its preliminary development plan to the Unified Government of Wyandotte County. This submission was the first in a series of requirements the American Royal will complete over the next six months. In December, the Planning Commission of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County approved the preliminary development plan and the special-use permit for the American Royal complex.

The 1 million-plus-square-foot complex with the accompanying outdoor plaza and arena will allow for an expansion of the current 14-week programming to 365 days of the year.

The facility features more than 800,000 square feet of indoor, programmable event space, including significant barn and exposition areas, three performance arenas, one warmup arena, a large educational area with integration throughout the entire complex, and more than 50,000 square feet of high-end exhibit space.

The draw

The American Royal has been a nationally recognized brand of excellence for more than a century.

“Support for the American Royal is strong and growing,” said Glen Alan Phillips, president and CEO of the American Royal.  “We have contestants coming to Kansas City from over 38 states and 14 countries to compete in our various events. Our livestock and equine shows were up in entries and maxed out the current facilities.

"Our Pro Rodeo sold out, including 200 standing room-only tickets, and the American Royal World Series of Barbecue continues to be the world’s largest barbecue competition. We’re excited about this continued growth and the opportunities the new complex will provide to fill these needs in the future.”

A ceremonial groundbreaking is expected in the spring of 2020, with construction beginning in the summer of 2020. The core complex is to be complete by the winter of 2021.

Source: The American Royal Association, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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