Baseball, Travel

Ballpark Review: Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City Royals)

We finally made it over to Kauffman for an I-70 Series matchup between the Cardinals and Royals—I can’t believe we hadn’t done this yet! We went with a large group of Cards/Royals fans (thanks to Tim and Hailey Schatz for organizing). This was the first time we’d ever tailgated at a baseball game, and it was a blast! Despite the drizzly weather and fear of a rainout, we relished the entire experience and cheered the Cards to a 6-1 victory. This was our third stint at Kauffman (also went to the 2012 All-Star Game and a Mariners game), and we think the stadium features and atmosphere are superb. It has great play areas for kids, beautiful fountains in the outfield area, and a unique big screen. Overall, the short drive across I-70 is most definitely worth it for Cards fans to take in a game at this splendid stadium.

Design

The fountains and waterfalls are the most prominent feature of the stadium and truly are spectacular – especially at night. The fountains run before and after the game and in-between innings, while the waterfalls flow constantly. They line most of the outfield and provide a nice view within the stadium. Beyond the outfield wall, all there is to see is I-70… so the “water spectacular” is a nice distraction.

Kauffman fountains

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The other unique feature of the stadium is the HD “Crown Vision” scoreboard. The vertical design and golden crown are an enamoring way to keep tabs on the game.

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Jack Stack BBQ

Jack Stack BBQ

Location

The location isn’t the best, but does offer some perks. The large parking lot makes it great for tailgating for Royals or Chiefs games. The remoteness and gated-off area make it very safe. There are no restaurants/bars within walking distance, but some great Kansas City BBQ (Jack Stack, Arthur Bryant’s, or Joe’s) is just a 15 minute drive away.

Tailgating and Concessions

The tailgating was one of the highlights of the experience. Food inside the stadium isn’t anything to brag about, with recent reports of moldy food. Tailgating allows for fans to eat and drink up before entering the stadium to avoid inflated ballpark prices.

Royals Cards

Amenities

There is a great play area for kids including a mini-stadium playground and fountains for the kiddos to run around in.

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Culture

Both teams are off to phenomenal starts in 2015, leading their respective leagues in winning percentage and fighting each other to retain the best record in baseball. After a World Series appearance for the Royals and an NLCS appearance for the Cards in 2014, both teams are gearing up for a hopeful rematch of the 1985 World Series. As Cards fans, we’re pumped to see the Royals putting together a winning team to rejuvenate the I-70 rivalry. The Royals fans were very amiable and didn’t taunt us at all, despite being a rather large group of rambunctious Cardinals fans. Even when we won, they were still friendly and even congratulatory.

Summary & Scoring

Dates Visited: Sunday, May 24, 2015 (All-Star Game – July, 10 2012 | Mariners vs. Royals – June 22, 2014)
Games Played:

  • I-70 Series: Cardinals 6, Royals 1. WP Wacha. Wacha becomes the first pitcher in the NL to reach 7 wins. The Cards prevented a sweep in this drizzly game. It was a great team effort with most players contributing hits. Carpenter had a nice two-run homer to put the Cards up 4-1. Box Score
  • 2012 All-Star Game: NL 8, AL 0. WP Cain. The AL’s starting pitcher, Verlander, gave up 5 runs in the first and the NL cruised to victory. Box Score
  • Mariners Game: Mariners 2, Royals 1. WP Elias. Box Score

Design:  – The fountains are beautiful and help distract from the dismal Interstate-70 view beyond the stadium. Although they do take up prime outfield seating. Unique vertical HD Crown Vision scoreboard. I wouldn’t have guessed the stadium was built in 1973 as recent renovations really make it feel modern.
Location: – Right next to Arrowhead Stadium (NFL’s Chiefs) in the Truman Sports Complex and not in downtown Kansas City. Aside from a Taco Bell and a gas station, there is essentially nothing within walking distance. The huge parking lot makes for great tailgating but was actually a pain to get in and out. Having nothing around the area makes it relatively safe, but simply getting back to the interstate can require driving through residential neighborhoods.
Concessions: – We haven’t tried much of the food in the ballpark since we tailgated but there were recent reports of moldy food… Plus with some of the best BBQ in the country only a short drive away, it’s not worth paying the high prices.
Amenities: – This is one of the most family-friendly stadiums we’ve seen with a great play area which includes fountains for kids to play in.
Culture: – As Cards fans with a group of close to 30 people, I was expecting some haggling/taunting, but Royals fans were very friendly. There were tons of people tailgating with mixtures of Cards/Royals fans in the same groups. The I-70 rivalry was quite friendly.
Overall: – “The K” really is a beautiful stadium with the spectacular fountains and Crown Vision HD scoreboard and is the most family-friendly ballpark we’ve visited. The tailgating and the I-70 rivalry made the Cards/Royals game exciting and enjoyable. However, the location and lack of a skyline view like most stadiums offer deters from the experience.

Your Rankings:

Let us know what you think of this stadium.

Other Pictures

Our first trip to Kauffman Stadium was actually the 2012 All-Star game (before we started this blog).

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We also went to a Mariners game for Bark at the Park Day with Scott’s family. Scott’s dad just couldn’t get enough puppy love 😉

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We all got baseballs from King Felix!

Felix Hernandez

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