Negro Leagues Baseball Museum announces $25 million in campus expansion
A "pitch to the future" for the NBLM.
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is about to get a huge revamp. The museum’s President Bob Kendrick made the announcement at a press conference on May 2nd.
The new campus is set to be built on 18th and Paseo adjacent to the Buck O’Neil Education and Research Center with images of Buck O’Neil, Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, and other Negro League players to be featured on the front of the building.
The museum has always been a hallmark of the city, highlighting the history of the Negro Leagues. With the growing popularity of the museum, it became clear to Kendrick and other museum officials that an expansion was needed. In order to keep all of the great items that the museum holds and accommodate all the patrons who want to visit, they were going to need to grow.
Also present at the press conference was Mayor Lucas, “This is transformative for Kansas City,” says Lucas, later stating that “Buck would be proud.”
The new building will be 30,000 square feet and cost $25 million, $1 million of which was donated by Bank of America. The museum has a capital campaign underway to raise the remainder of the money.
The NBLM is the only museum in the world that is fully dedicated to displaying the history of the league and has celebrated those who played in it for generations. After 33 years in the making, Kendrick says he hopes the new campus is a gateway to the historic 18th and Vine District with the museum’s social media referring to it this announcement as their “pitch for the future”.
Jackson County Executive and former Royals player Frank White was also present at the press conference, “This was a dream of all the Negro Leagues players. This is what Buck O’Neil wanted to see. We’re sitting here today in that first dream. Today, that dream just took another step and I’m sure all those guys looking down on us now are really excited about where we’ve gone with this museum,” says White.
With so many sporting events taking place in KC lately and so much national attention being directed here, it seems only fitting that the Negro League Museum gets the space it deserves so locals and tourists alike get to enjoy the rich history it offers.