Field of Legends - Kansas City Monarchs
Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.71
Field of Legends 1800 Village West Pkwy Kansas City, KS 66111
Year Opened: 2003
A New Reign in Kansas City
Note: The Kansas City T-Bones rebranded as the Kansas City Monarchs on January 21, 2021. Our review is from when the club was still the T-Bones.
If you travel a little further down I-70 and the Truman Sports Complex and cross the border into Kansas, you will find sports venues ranging from the Kansas Speedway to Children’s Mercy Field, and CommunityAmerica Ballpark. All three venues make up an impressive complex that consists of the Hollywood Casino, NASCAR Racing Experience, Great Wolf Lodge, an outlet mall, and many places to eat.
The ballpark is home to the Kansas City T-Bones of the American Association, an independent ball club that began play in 2003. It has 6,537 fixed seats but increases to 7,500 when you include the concourse, picnic area, right field grass berm, and center field party area. There have been several times in the past that crowds above 10,000 have been reported. The ballpark also serves as home to the Kansas City Kansas Community College baseball team, local high school programs, and was once the home pitch of the Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting Kansas City) from 2008 to 2010.
Food & Beverage 4
There is a great selection of food options at the ballpark that is highlighted by the jumbo t-loin sandwich for $7.75 which is shareable and affordable. However, there is also plenty of barbecue options to be found that is worth enjoying while watching a game. The facility has a Fry Shack stand that serves up fried pickles, fried mushrooms, corn nuggets, and jalapeno poppers. There are also the usual food items of pizza slices, brats, nachos, and hot dogs. The Craft Brew Station features wraps, specialty pretzels, Philly sandwiches, wine, and craft beer selections from Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Company. The prices for some of the concession items are very reasonable, but other items tend to be on the higher side. However, there is enough variety that one can find something to eat to fit the budget but get the t-loin, it’s delicious.
The T-Bones offer a typical minor league ballpark experience that equates to a family-fun atmosphere. The ticket prices are low, the concessions are varied, and there are enough promotions throughout the season to attract fans to the ballpark. The team offers weekly promo nights that include kids eating free on Monday nights, happy hour pricing on Tuesday nights, post-game catch on the field on Wednesday nights, $1 beers on Thursday nights, and post-game fireworks on Friday nights. The usual promotions, but popular at getting fans in the seats and creating value for your dollar. The wide concourse that wraps around provides vantage points from numerous angles and can accommodate crowds that swell around 10,000 around the holidays during the summer. The ballpark offers a team store, a children’s play area, and a basketball court for the older kids. Sizzle the Bull is a friendly mascot that the kids will enjoy during games.
The ballpark is part of a sports and entertainment complex that also houses a soccer field, raceway, casino, outlet malls, and restaurants. It is the type of area where you may grab dinner before the game and then have a cocktail or two after the game and before you head home. Jazz a Louisiana Kitchen, Chiusano’s Brick Oven Pizzeria, and local area barbecue favorite Arthur Bryant’s are just a few of the many restaurants nearby the stadium.
However, one of the best barbecue joints in the entire country is 16 miles near the state line and is worth the visit. Located in a former gas station is Joe’s Kansas City Barbecue and is world renown by chefs, locals, and tourists. There might be a line, but you can grab a beer or enjoy the smell of smoke as you near the cashier. Everything is good, including the sides, but the burnt ends are what you need to eat if you get the chance. However, Kansas City is known for its barbecue, and believe me, there are so many places in town to enjoy a smoked piece of meat.
The list includes LC’s, Slaps, B.B’s Lawnside, Q39, Gates, and Char Bar. The only problem is not to overload on the barbecue, but you’re in Kansas City, one of the best cities in the world for barbecue. There are also great places to visit outside of eating including the National World War I Memorial and Museum, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the Money Museum, Science City at Union Station, and the College Basketball Experience at the Sprint Center downtown. The WWI Museum is a fascinating look at an often overlooked war that is as interactive and engaging as it is informative. If you have time for baseball, there is a team called the Kansas City Royals who play at Kauffman Stadium from April to October. I hear that they even have fountains in their outfield and a great kids’ play area.
The attendance at T-Bones games is routinely in the top third of the league with a healthy average of around 4,000 fans per game. The stadium has all the needs and wants of a 21st-century fan and many who attend games do an admirable job of cheering on the home team. They are your typical minor league fan of the independent leagues, they want value for their dollar, and they certainly get that here at CommunityAmerica Park.
The stadium is at the I-70 and I-435 intersection with plenty of signs guiding motorists to both the complex and ballpark. There is plenty of free parking and a spacious concourse that wraps around the entire field with plenty of room to move around. All bathrooms, concession stands, and exits are clearly marked
Return on Investment 4
Single ticket prices all have a $2 upcharge on game day events and fans are allowed to bring in one 20-ounce unopened bottle of water. General Admission/Lawn seating tickets are $6.50, Bleacher Select $9.50, Select Seat $11.50, Choice Seat $13, and Prime Seat $16. These are pretty typical prices for indy baseball clubs and even with a $2 upcharge, one can watch baseball under $10. The food selection is varied and is reasonably priced and a huge plus is that all parking for home games is free of charge. If you happen to have a Price Chopper card, a lawn seat is only $4.50 on Wednesday nights if you show it at the box office when purchasing your ticket.
The stadium gets one point for having both free parking and $2 hot dogs for all home games. The stadium gets a second point for its spacious concourse and easy convenience to get around the facility. There are plenty of vantage points to sit back and enjoy the game from many spots in the ballpark. The stadium gets a final point for having local icon Buck O’Neil’s #22 retired.
CommunityAmerica Park is a very nice place to watch a baseball game; it’s spacious, plenty of promotional nights, and easy to get to by car. If you happen to be in town when the T-Bones are playing, it might be worth your effort to watch a game on the Kansas side of the city.