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Kauffman Stadium: The Great Unknown Gem


As we steamroll towards Memorial Day, baseball season is officially in full swing and everyone has started peeking at those division standings.

When you get past all of the complaining about managerial decisions, inept offenses and bullpen implosions, there’s one fantastic thing about the Kansas City Royals that never disappoints. Kauffman Stadium never lets you down.

Sure, the backdrop could be a little more aesthetically pleasing. But I suppose it could be worse. Instead of a Denny’s and the Drury Inn Hotel, I guess it could be a rundown strip mall or a dilapidated high rise building like something you’d see in the opening credits of “Good Times.”

The Royals hosted the Rockies Wednesday afternoon and completed their “mini-sweep” behind an outstanding pitching performance from Jason Vargas and an unexpected (if not surprising) 3-run double from Mike Moustakas.  That’s a great 2-0 start to a 9-game homestand.

 When you’re a season ticket holder, the games tend to blend together from time to time. But there is always a comfort at “The K.” I try not to wax too poetic about baseball. I mean after all, it’s just a game, right?  But there’s just something really cool about going to a baseball game.

I’ve always romanticized about the sights, sounds and smells of going to a ballpark. For me, it’s what makes baseball so great. It’s an entirely different atmosphere from that of your aggressive, hostile, oft-inebriated NFL crowd. Sure, you get your baseball fans that have been over-served, but they pale in comparison to an average Sunday in the fall at Arrowhead.

Whether it’s a win or a loss, going out to The K is always a fantastic use of your free time. The beers (and sodas) are cold, the hot dogs are hot and the staff working at the stadium is always warm. A friendly staff may seem like a simple thing, but something that’s often overlooked when attending a sporting event. The attitude of the ticket takers and ushers at The K are top notch. On game day, they are the face of the franchise. And the Royals have done a fantastic job of finding the right people to be that face.

There’s really only one thing I find mildly annoying during games at The K. I’m not a huge fan of the blaring hip-hop music as every Royals hitter strolls to the plate. What was wrong with the organ?

Ah, the good old days. First thing I should probably do at this point is to start an investigation into myself. Because I need to discover when exactly I became so old. And back in my day it was just called “rap.” There’s no need to get all fancy by calling it hip-hop.

Aside from the fact that I’m becoming a cranky senior citizen at the age of 40 who doesn’t like ‘hip-hop’ during his baseball games, there’s just one thing about The K that I truly hate. It’s never full. Aside from Opening Day, she’s just never packed. It’s really kind of sad.  I don’t want to dwell on the following numbers too much, but they do paint an interesting picture.

- Average attendance for Royals home games in 2014: 20,211 (26th in MLB)
- 20,211 is just 53.3% of Kauffman Stadium’s capacity. (25th in MLB)
- Average attendance across MLB in 2014:  28,819
- That is 8,608 fans per game short of the league average.
- Average ticket cost of a Royals game:  $24.73
- Major league average ticket cost:  $27.93
- Parking costs $11 per vehicle at Kauffman Stadium
- Additional Ticket Revenue Generated Over 81 games at $24.73 per ticket if KC raised their attendance to the league average: $17,242,943.04
- Additional parking revenue generated (using one car for every four extra fans): $1,917,432.

That’s an increase of $19,160,375.04 in revenue for the Royals. That’s not even taking into account the additional revenue generated by those delicious Royal Bacon Blue Fries, Sheboygan foot-long bratwursts and Boulevard Pale Ales.  That’s a lot of money, folks. That’s enough to re-sign James Shields to a long-term deal or go out and sign someone like Nelson Cruz, Jon Lester or Johnny Cueto.

I guess a romantic piece on Kauffman Stadium has intentionally accidentally turned into a Call to Arms of sorts. I’m sounding the trumpets, Royals fans. It’s time to start showing up. Let’s pack the house.

I’m sure there will be backlash on this. I know, I know… “They’ve been terrible since 1985, why should we go out there and support them since our owner won’t put any of that money back into the team. “

That’s a fair argument. I get it, I really do. But here’s how I look at it… Even if David Glass pockets every red cent, you get to go to the ballpark and have a great night hanging out with 28,818 of your closest friends in the most under-rated ballpark in the majors. And in the end, that ain’t such a bad thing.

Tags: Kansas City Royals Kauffman Stadium

  • TwistedCyberChick

    I followed the Royals on the radio for several months before attending my first game. It was a Saturday evening and I’ll never forget how beautiful the field looked the first time I glimpsed it from the plaza level concourse. The sun was low in the sky and the colors were mesmerizing. The boys stomped the Tigers 13-6, but the biggest thing I walked away with was the beauty of the K. She truly shines.