It has been 11 years since the Cubs have traveled to Kansas City to play the Royals. Though this series doesn’t have the same allure as the Boston series, some Cubs fans are still looking forward to this economical interleague option.
Kauffman Stadium was renovated in 2009 and Cubs fans can expect a newly revamped "outfield experience" and updated concessions.
After the jump I have listed bits of information that I have collected at various places on the web. I thought that I would share this with fellow BCBers. Read on if you would like to know more about the Kauffman Stadium experience.
Please comment if you have any further information that you would like to add.
2009 KAUFFMAN RENOVATIONS – THE OUTFIELD EXPERIENCE
In 2009 the Kansas City Royals invested 250 million dollars to renovate Kauffman Stadium. Most of their renovations took place in the outfield. Their new "CrownVision" scoreboard's 8,736 square foot high-definition video screen was the largest in the world until Cowboys Stadium opened with its two 11,393 square foot HD screens.
Rivals Sports Bar and "Party Deck" are located in right field. This is where the party is. Consider this the open-air gathering place for fans with drinking alcohol on their minds.
There are a series of activities for the kids including a playground, carousel, mini golf, and a mini-Kauffman playing filed that they call "The Little K."
The Royals Hall of Fame is now located in left field. Exhibits include artifacts, photos, documents and videos tracing the history of the Royals. Entry is free.
The outfield still features the famous fountain and waterfall display (known as the Water Spectacular) behind the right-field fence. At 322 feet, it is the largest privately-funded fountain in the world. The fountains are on display before and after the game and in-between innings, while the waterfalls are constantly flowing. Jump in the fountain and you will be thrown out!
The outfield experience will be open 1.5 hours before game time. All ticket holders are encouraged to leave their seats and explore the outfield at Kauffman.
6/24 – Fireworks Friday – Stick around to watch a fireworks display after the game. Celebrity Wiffle Ball Game - The Royals will host special celebrity guests in a wiffle ball game at The Little K at 5:30 p.m. The names of the celebrities have not been announced.
6/25 – Kevin Appier Royals Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Appier will be inducted as the 24th member of the Royals Hall of Fame. Pre-game ceremonies begin at 5:45
6/26 – Family FunDay Sunday - A promotion that includes: face painters, caricature and balloon artists, live entertainment, and kids can go on the field and run the bases after the game.
Aramark is in charge of concessions at Kauffman Stadium. That being said, you can still find good local food and drink at Kauffman. All-Star Barbecue, located in center field, is a great place to sample authentic Kansas City BBQ. The pit-master and sous-chef both worked at Fiorella’s Jack Stack in downtown KC before bringing their talents to The K. The menu includes burnt ends, BBQ sandwiches, ribs, turkey legs, and catfish sandwiches. All of the meat is smoked on site with hickory and oak in a 16,000 pound Southern Pride smoker. The Kansas City Ribeye Stack was voted the fans’ favorite item at the 2010 All-Star Game in Anaheim. The Ribeye Stack beat out 12 other competing ballpark concessions including the New England Lobster Roll (Fenway) and the Pittsburg-Style Pastrami Sandwich (PNC).
Boulevard Brewing Co. is located in KC and you can find Boulevard on tap at sections 223 & 232, near 1st & 3rd base.
KAUFFMAN STADIUM TOURS
Kauffman Stadium is open for tours on game days. Tours start at $10.
NEGRO LEAGUE BASEBALL MUSEUM
The Negro League Baseball Museum is located in Kansas City. They carefully point out that they are a museum and not a "Hall of Fame." The exhibit covers the entire history of the Negro Leagues from their beginning after the Civil War through their end in the 1960s. It looks at the contribution of the leagues made to the history of athletics, as well as their contributions to the Civil Rights movement. The museum features former Cubs scout "Buck" O’Neal, Ernie Banks, Gene Baker, Lou Brock and George Altman. Ernie Banks is a member of the NLBM national advisory board.
ESPN analyst and former Cub Doug Glanville will be at the NLBM on Saturday, June 25 at 1:00 p.m. to sign and promote his book "The Game from Where I Stand."
The Negro League Baseball Museum is only 5 miles from Kauffman Stadium and is located on the same city block as the American Jazz Museum and less than a half mile from Arthur Bryant’s, arguably the best BBQ in KC.
Tailgating is part of KC culture. Kauffman Stadium is located directly next to Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Chiefs. In between the two stadiums is a vast parking lot. This does not leave much for fans who like to explore the rival team’s neighborhood. There are no pre-game restaurants or bars within walking distance of the stadium. Royals fans have turned this negative into a positive by bringing the party to the lot. Many wouldn’t think of driving to Kauffman unless they have their grill, cooler and lawn chairs with them.
Parking is $10.
I'm looking forward to a fun weekend in Kansas City. All three games are nearly sold out, which is unusual for a Royals series. I think that Cubs Nation will show their support in KC and I hope we can come away with a couple of wins.