The Nebraska Sports Blog has a nice take on where the team is right now, and whether Mike Anderson is the right man for the job. I think it's a little premature to discuss this in April; there's plenty of time after the season to do that.
Some rumored locations are being confirmed for the Sarpy County ballpark. The leading candidate, according to the rumor mill, was a site behind Cabela's. Previously, it sounded like this location was scheduled for office space, but with the economy heading south last fall, it sounds like the previous plans were put on ice, creating an opening for Sarpy County. It's probably the most feasible spot in Sarpy County for a stadium, though it has it's issues. For one thing, it's further from Interstate 80 than the downtown stadium's three exits. And perhaps more importantly, the Cabela's land will cost Sarpy County money. It's not going to be free, like some hoped/dreamed of. Other locations being offered are at I-80 and highway 370, also not for free, and Bellevue. That's right...rather than moving to western Sarpy County, the new ballpark could be along the Kennedy Freeway. An intriguing idea, since that location will be more convenient to more of the metro area, but dashes the hopes that the fringes of the metro area will be the Royals cure-all. Anything along highway 370 is a potential disaster, as 370 is so far south, it'll be perceived as essentially out of the Omaha area. Not to mention that the 370 corridor is already being developed. As the World-Herald points out, there already are development plans for the I-80/370 interchange. That limits the multiplier effect of most of these locations since development plans are already underway.
Meanwhile, we wait and see what happens with the funding plans in the legislature. Sarpy County has already struck out with one unrelated bill to increase county powers. The Legislature shot down a bill last week that would have given Sarpy County ordinance power to regulate parking and public indecency. Senator Mike Friend led the charge:
Do you see the state subsidizing a ballpark in Sarpy County? I didn't think so. Meanwhile, we wait for Sarpy County to make nice with the cities of Sarpy County, or for the Legislature to kill the inevitable.
"This is a power play by Sarpy County, and this is a bad idea."
Meanwhile, in the Omaha mayoral primary, Hal Daub is struggling to approach the 40% mark, which is a bad sign for the unpopular former mayor. My assumption is that the majority of voters who selected another candidate rejected Daub from the start, and are unlikely to support Daub in the general election. If that's the case, Daub has an uphill battle to climb. Will he play the Royals/Downtown stadium card again in the coming weeks?