Kauffman Stadium, located in the outskirts of Kansas City, Missouri, is part of the Harry S. Truman Sports Complex along with adjacent Arrowhead Stadium. Kauffman Stadium has served as home to the Royals since 1973, making it the sixth oldest ballpark in the major leagues. Built during a time when multi-sport, cookie-cutter stadiums were being erected across the country, Kauffman Stadium stood out among these donut-shaped monstrosities at the time of construction, and has outlasted most of them as well.
Originally named Royals Stadium and renamed in honor of longtime owner Ewing Kauffman in 1993, the stadium underwent extensive renovations that were completed in 2009 at a cost of $250 million. These renovations have touched many parts of the ballpark, including the outfield concourse, concessions, scoreboard, fountains, press facilities, ticket gates, and Royals Hall of Fame. As a result, capacity of Kauffman Stadium was actually decreased at this time.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
One of the focal points of the $250 million renovations that took place several years ago was the expansion of the concession options at the stadium. There are now many options for fans looking to satisfy their hunger while taking in a Royals game. Concession stands are seemingly everywhere, and there is something here for everyone.
All the basics can be found at Kauffman Stadium, from hot dogs and burgers to pizza and nachos. Chicken wings, sausage sandwiches, and chicken tenders can also be found throughout the ballpark. Fans looking to snack can choose from pretzels, peanuts, candy, ice cream, and the like.
Pepsi products are featured at Kauffman Stadium, and I recommend the souvenir cup, checking in at a hefty 44 ounces. At $7.75 you get a free refill, making it an excellent value, relatively speaking. Fans looking for an adult beverage can choose from wine, margaritas, and mixed drinks. Of course, there is beer. Kauffman Stadium features a wide variety of beer from the major brands to local craft beers at prices ranging from $6.50 for a domestic draft up to $11 for a large souvenir cup.
Any major league facility these days is remembered for its unique offerings. In Kansas City, barbeque is the signature dish, and naturally, Kauffman Stadium offers its own version of the classic American dish. Sweet Baby Ray's Barbeque operates stands throughout the ballpark offering BBQ sandwiches, burnt ends, and ribs. Also, a dish called the brisket-acho is sold at various carts. As the name implies, the brisket-acho is a serving of nachos topped with, among other things, sliced brisket, baked beans, cole slaw, and BBQ sauce. For those really hungry fans not content with a single serving, this can be ordered in helmet size. You get a batting helmet filled with nachos and all the toppings for $14.50.
Kauffman Stadium boasts a great balance between sporting event and entertainment venue, between a laid back atmosphere and the intensity of the major leagues. The fans and staff at Kauffman Stadium make sure that everyone visiting the area enjoys their stay in Kansas City. No matter where you are sitting, your view is dominated by the scoreboard and fountains in the outfield. Luckily, the fountains are not operated during play, or else no one would watch the game.
Kids attending Royals games will find more to keep them occupied than one would normally expect at a major league ballpark. The outfield concourse features a variety of activities for the younger baseball fan, such as a carousel, a miniature version of Kauffman Stadium, batting cages, pitching mound, base runs, a playground, five hole mini golf course, and a stage. The Outfield Experience opens 1 ½ hours prior to the first pitch and remains open throughout the game.
Also worth a visit during any trip to Kauffman Stadium is the Royals Hall of Fame. The museum houses a variety of Royals memorabilia as well as a history of baseball in Kansas City. Statues of Royals greats George Brett, Frank White, and Ewing Kauffman are located throughout the ballpark. After Royals wins, Hall of Fame mascot Kasey (KC, get it?) hangs a "W" on the façade of the Hall of Fame next to the retired numbers.
Kauffman Stadium is part of the larger Harry S. Truman Sports Complex along with Arrowhead Stadium, home of the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs. The complex is located about eight miles from downtown Kansas City, and is surrounded by several parking lots. As a result, there is no surrounding neighborhood to speak of. There are several hotels located about a mile from the hotel, and are not easily accessible on foot. The vast majority of fans arrive at Kauffman Stadium via automobile. Some fans will tailgate in the parking lots before the games, but most fans leave immediately after the game.
Downtown Kansas City has its share of attractions for the visiting fan to enjoy. First and foremost among these is the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, located in the historic Jazz District. The museum honors the history of the Negro Leagues from the late 1800's to the 1940's, and is a must see attraction for any baseball fan. While in the area, there are several wonderful clubs in the neighborhood, as well as the American Jazz Museum, located in the same building as the Baseball Museum.
Kansas City is known for having some of the best BBQ joints in the country, so any fans visiting the area will have many great choices. If visiting the Negro Leagues museum, Arthur Bryant's is located just a few blocks away, and is a popular gathering spot for Royals fans before the game. Gates BBQ and Oklahoma Joe's are also some of the more popular restaurants in the area. Every local fan has their opinion on the best BBQ in the area, so check around while at the game. You will surely come away with several options for a post game meal.
Although Royals fans are coming to The "K" in increasing numbers as the team remains in contention late into the 2014 season, the Royals remain near the bottom of MLB's attendance rankings. What the Royals fan base lacks in quantity, they make up for in quality. Royals fans know their team inside and out, and understand the nuances of baseball better than most fans you will encounter across the country. Also, these are some of the friendliest fans you will find anywhere. Most of the people who come to Kauffman Stadium are not there to be seen, but to enjoy the action on the field.
Kauffman Stadium is very easy to get to, located at the intersection of Interstates 70 and 435. No matter which direction you are traveling from, there are multiple exits off of either highway to get you to the stadium. Traffic can back up around game time, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Kauffman Stadium and adjacent Arrowhead Stadium are surrounded by a sea of concrete. Finding parking is not an issue here, as the lots are more than adequate to handle any Royals crowd. Parking is $11 for cars, and access in and out of the lots flows rather smoothly.
Once inside Kaufmann Stadium, it will become readily apparent where the Royals spend a great deal of the $250 million they spent on renovations prior to the 2009 season. It is possible to walk the entire circumference of the field while still keeping an eye on the action on the field. Concessions were expanded during the renovations, as were restrooms, which are more than adequate to serve any Royals crowd without long lines forming. Upper levels are easily accessed via ramps, escalators, and elevators.
The Royals use dynamic pricing for their home games, meaning that for selected games you can purchase tickets for as low as $5. Upper deck seats generally run in the range of $13-$20, even on weekends, and lower deck seats will cost you from $30-$50. Premium seats are available for a higher price, and there are many different seating options should you wish to purchase specialty seats near the fountains or even in club seating. Check the Royals website, as they often offer deals for certain games.
Parking costs $11 in any of the lots that surround Kauffman Stadium. Parking is more than plentiful enough to handle any Royals crowd, and the lack of any type of surrounding neighborhood means that there is a subdued tailgating scene here. The inexpensive pricing means that it is entirely possible to attend a major league baseball game for under $20!
The Fountains - When watching a Royals game on television, your vision is instantly drawn to the fountains located in the outfield. When at Kauffman Stadium, the fountains are even more impressive. The fountains are accessible to fans before the game, and great views are also available from the outfield concourse during the game. The signature feature of Kauffman Stadium does not disappoint.
The Scoreboard - Standing at an impressive 12 stories high, this high-definition board dominates the view from all areas of the ballpark. When installed in 2008, it was the largest high-definition LED scoreboard in the world. It has since been surpassed by others, but that does not make it any less impressive.
The Buck O'Neil Legacy Seat - In the 2007 season the Royals installed a single red seat amongst the sea of blue to honor the legacy of Kansas City resident and Baseball Hall of Famer Buck O'Neil. Every game, the seat is given to a community nominee who best embodies the spirit of Buck O'Neil.
Halls of Fame - When visiting Kansas City, there are two museums that should not be missed by any baseball fan. The Negro Baseball Hall of Fame is located in the historic Jazz District on 18th and Vine, and contains a large collection of artifacts from the Negro Baseball Leagues. It's a powerful exhibit that brings these long-overlooked leagues into their rightful place at the forefront of history. Also be sure to take some time while at Kauffman Stadium to visit the Royals Hall of Fame, located just off the left field concourse.
Midwestern hospitality - The rumors about the people in the Midwest are true. While this easterner wandered around Kauffman Stadium aimlessly, I bumped into countless staff and fans who were more than willing to point out must-see attractions, give advice, and act in the most helpful manner possible.
The Kansas City Royals are a team seemingly on the rebound after decades of mediocre play or worse. The fans are returning to charming Kauffman Stadium to cheer on their contending team. It's a welcome trend being repeated across the majors in cities like Pittsburgh and Baltimore as well.
Fans visiting Kauffman Stadium for the first time will be pleased to learn that this ballpark is more than just some pretty fountains and a big scoreboard. The "K" features excellent sightlines, a friendly and outgoing staff, and a charming atmosphere. There is plenty to see and do here, especially for the kids. Kauffman Stadium is truly one of the more underrated ballparks in the major leagues.
Inaugurated on April 10, 1973, Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium is the longtime home of the Kansas City Royals. Simply known as "The K" or "Kauffman" to regulars, it is located at the Truman Sports Complex along with the Chiefs' Arrowhead Stadium.
Though the Royals have arguably been Major League Baseball's most downtrodden franchise since their lone World Series win in 1985, one would hardly know it given Kauffman's tremendous combination of originality and amenities new and old. Already one of the most unique venues in baseball, The K underwent a massive face-lift completed in time for Opening Day 2009. Given the fantastic new additions to a ballpark that already carried a solid reputation, it's no surprise Kansas City was selected to host July's 2012 MLB All-Star Game.
Led by an abnormally large group of talented youngsters, the Royals look poised for a long-awaited playoff berth within the near future. Their coming success should be met with open arms by fans across the country, as a venue like Kauffman Stadium deserves not just an All-Star Game, but a national spotlight for a wealth of October baseball.
Any quality trip to Kauffman Stadium requires a stop at one of the city's many Barbecue restaurants; in the vicinity of the K the options only get sweeter.
If you're coming from the southern portion of the Metro area, one should consider hitting up LC's Bar-B-Q at 5800 Blue Parkway. Their self-described tangy home style sauce provides great flavor for any of your meaty favorites. Ribs, beef, pork, turkeyâ?¦you can't go wrong.
While LC's is great, Arthur Bryant's at 1727 Brooklyn Avenue is other-worldly. Evidence of Politicians, athletes and actors being hosted at the restaurant is draped on the walls. Any restaurant this historic deserves respect, and when you taste the meats from their aged smoker you'll recognize why. Again, order anything on the menu but be prepared for tremendous portion.
After pre-game preparations, it's time to see the new K; in the midst of a midlife crisis, Kauffman Stadium had a facelift. While many of these butcher jobs are obvious patchworks, this overhaul resulted in seamless rejuvenation. Perks like a sports bar, hall-of-fame and expanded vending options were added. An entire "Outfield Experience" was constructed in a former dead-space area; it is equipped with standing room views within the famous outfield fountains, new seating, kids play area with a mini-Kauffman Stadium to play on, a tremendous HD video board, picnic area sporting famous Kansas City barbecue, and bars in both left and right field. If all of that isn't enough, the new K boasts mini-HDTV's by concession stands, new monuments and more frequent and cleaner - albeit more cumbersome - restrooms throughout.
Among all these new perks, the two biggest additions to the stadium were the Hall-of-Fame in left field and Rivals Sports Bar in right field. The Hall-of-Fame boasts several uniquely Kansas City pieces of memorabilia like George Brett's "pine tar incident" bat, Brett Saberhagen's hat from his no-hitter and the 1985 World Series Trophy.
Rivals Sports Bar boasts a full menu bar from its view in right - above the unique bullpen the stadium has possessed since its inception. The lower level is open to the public every game and the upper deck is available for large parties - when it is not rented the public is free to use it. If you are lucky enough to snag a table in Rivals, you are guaranteed to have a good view of the ballgame. Additionally, the pre and post game shows are anchored from there
Kauffman has always been home of one of the most beautiful fields in baseball. Even when the Astroturf was rolled out, head groundskeeper George Toma kept it neatly swept. Once the grass came back to Kansas City, the K was immediately upgraded. Unfortunately, what followed was the plastering of tacky sponsor signs around the outfield wall reminiscent of a Minor League ballpark. That, as much as anything else, made this recent revamping necessary. Since advertising is essential in this modern sports age, several video boards were installed that flash advertisements and game information while the number of billboards and banners has been reduced allowing attention to refocus on the striking field.
My visit to Kauffman was about 3 years ago, and my most vivid memories are of Arthur Bryant's BBQ, and not the ballpark. That doesn't mean its a bad place to see a game, it just means there isn't anything that sticks with you. Maybe it's just a good excuse to go back again.
On business in the area and went to catch a game. Walk up ticket was dirt cheap, $20 and 7 rows up behind home plate. Great concessions and atmospehere, especially at its age. Only problem is the place is surrounded by a whole bunch of nothing. All in all, a surprisingly good stadium and experience.
Opened in 1973, Kauffman Stadium is a baseball specific stadium which was built during a time when multi-purpose venues were en vogue. Kauffman Stadium is part of the Truman Sports Complex and shares land with Arrowhead Stadium, home of the NFL Kansas City Chiefs. Named Royals Stadium when it opened, it was renamed in honor of the Royals founding owner, Ewing Kauffman, in 1993. The park is best known for the water fountains beyond the outfield wall which were prominent when the park opened and remain today. Prior to 1995, the artificial turf was replaced with natural grass. Kauffman Stadium has been host to a Nolan Ryan no-hitter, a Royals World Series championship in 1985, and two all-star games, the latest coming in 2012.
A major renovation of Kauffman Stadium began in 2007 and came with a price tag of $250 million when completed prior to the 2009 season. Among the most prominent improvements were the installation of a high definition scoreboard, “Crown Vision”, an outfield concourse, kid’s area, and wider concourses. When Crown Vision was initially installed, it was the largest high-definition LED display in the world. It has since been surpassed by the board at Safeco Field. The renovations and other features make Kauffman Stadium an attractive place to take in a game.
Much like Miller Park in Milwaukee, tailgating is a fun thing before attending a game here. The parking lots were well kept with ample refuse bins.
The fountains certainly lived up to the billing and the crown atop the scoreboard was made of individual rectangles that looked really cool in the light. The concourses were wide and spotless. Overall, this was the cleanest MLB park I've seen.
Food & Beverage: Awesome selection of both
Atmosphere: This was probably my favorite MLB experience and I've been to quite a few ballparks. If you sit by the fountains on a hot KC summer day, the mist is refreshing
Neighboorhood: Ballparks that are outside of the city have advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes the backdrop can be a bit boring but The K makes up for that with the fountains and the giant crown scoreboard. It is very easy to access which is a plus
Fans: Royals fans are the greatest
Access: Extremely easy to access from any direction
Return: Tickets are really cheap. You will definitely get your money's worth and then some
Extras: There's an entire kids area beyond the outfield wall. There's the party porch, hall of fame, restaurants with awesome views. What more could you ask for?
Great pricing, good food, and traffic not that bad. However I'm spoiled by the neighborhoods at STL and Chicago Cubs as there is nothing much else in the area and it is a way from the city center, something I find OK for football but a negative for baseball. Also a factor when game is long and people had to leave for the commute due to school or work. That did not affect me as I stayed at the nearby Drury that could be seen from the outfield. I was there to the end of both games including one that set a nine-inning club record for length of a game. I liked the Royals Hall of Fame in the outfield.
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