Sherman Hopes To Build Sustained Success For Hometown Royals
New Royals Chair & CEO John Sherman has been one of K.C.'s "leading civic philanthropists for years, but his hometown will now get to know him in a deeper way and on a much grander scale," according to a front-page piece by Sam Mellinger of the K.C. STAR. Sherman was formally introduced Tuesday, and "promised to be available in his new role, and to let Kansas Citians in general and Royals fans in particular hear his voice and understand his priorities." Each time Sherman "mentioned the purpose of his new job" during his introductory news conference, "winning a championship came first." Prior to taking over the Royals, Sherman was Indians Vice Chair and "worked with and for" Indians Chair & CEO Paul Dolan. Sherman said of working with Dolan, "I could see the joy of getting to do this in your hometown. I could tell how meaningful that was for him." Sherman also talked about the "need to lose money on bigger payrolls when the roster is ready and supporting his baseball people with the best technology and behavioral science methods available." He made "one hell of a first impression" (K.C. STAR, 11/27). THE ATHLETIC's Alec Lewis wrote how Sherman can "ignite the magic once again" for the Royals is the "challenge." And he will "assuredly embrace" it in the coming weeks. There will be "ideas to ponder, such as a new television contract." Sherman said that a new deal will "allow more payroll flexibility" (THEATHLETIC.com, 11/26).
ART OF A DEAL: In K.C., Lynn Worthy notes former Royals Owner David Glass "reached out to Sherman during spring training last year to let him know he and his family were going to sell the team." The purchase of the team "went through on Monday and made the group of investors led by Sherman the new stewards of the franchise." The new ownership group "includes 22 other individuals and/or companies all with roots in or ties to" the K.C. area. Sherman "didn't confirm the sale price" of $1B. But he said that it was "'amazing' how close the reports were about a private business deal." Meanwhile, Sherman "expressed confidence" in Royals Senior VP/Baseball Operations & GM Dayton Moore and the baseball operations staff, though he "refuted reports that Moore had been given a contract extension by the new ownership group" (K.C. STAR, 11/27).
KEEPING IT LOCAL: THE ATHLETIC's Daniel Kaplan cited sources as saying that Sherman's investment partners are "putting in up to" $200M toward the purchase. While "offsetting a large purchase with minority equity is not unusual, what made the Royals transaction situation so was the origin" of the money -- all of it "came from individuals within Kansas City or from those with K.C. ties" (THEATHLETIC.com, 11/26). Sherman said in terms of financing the purchase of the team, "We raised it all here in Kansas City. One hundred percent of the group either runs their business here, built their careers here, is raising their family here. Or, they grew up here and have a connection to Kansas City and the Royals, and this was a way for them to reconnect" (TWITTER.com, 11/26).
LOTS TO DISCUSS: Sherman said that the new ownership group will be "evaluating the potential to move" into a new downtown ballpark in the "coming years." He added that there is a "general idea" that ballparks can have a "mutually beneficial relationship with economic development in denser areas." In K.C., Miranda Davis noted having a ballpark downtown has "long been an economic development aspiration for advocates of Downtown." However, despite Sherman's "receptiveness to the possibility, he also stated that there was still plenty of time on the lease at Kauffman Stadium" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 11/26).