BERKELEY (BCN) — Five students at the University of California at Berkeley have come up with a plan to relocate the Kansas City Royals baseball team to downtown Kansas City to create a sprawling incubator to foster local job growth, and increase affordable housing for lower-income neighborhoods.

The students were just selected as finalists in the Urban Land Institute’s Hines Competition, which challenges college students to tackle complex issues facing U.S. cities.

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“Just as the beloved .42 Jackie Robinson of the KC Monarchs blazed a new trail for integration of Black athletes in baseball, the time has come to integrate these overlooked communities of KC and galvanize economic development in the blighted East Village neighborhood,” the students wrote in their proposal.

The students’ $1.4 billion plan calls for relocating the baseball stadium to downtown Kansas City and establishing a 150,000-square-foot mixed use, mixed-income development.

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“The relocation of the KC Royals baseball stadium to the urban core will catalyze a much-needed connection between Paseo West and the East Village,” the students wrote in their proposal. “These communities have been historically neglected and disenfranchised through past urban planning policies and poor design evidenced by the downtown freeway loop and vestiges of redlining.”

The students, Alice An, Romi Bhatia, Elliot Kwon, Tara Singh, Wayne Kim, have a shot at $50,000 if they are chosen as the winners of the contest.


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