formerly Royals Stadium
Kansas City, Missouri
Tenant: Kansas City Royals
Architect: HNTB (Kansas City; 1973); HOK Sport (Kansas City; 2007-10 renovations)
Kansas City Royals tickets:
Location: Center field (NE), Spectacular Drive, then Interstate 70; third base (NW), Lancer Lane, then Dutton Brookfield Drive; home plate (SW), Royal Way, then Chiefs Way, Arrowhead Stadium, Raytown Road, and CRI&P Railroad tracks; first base (SE), Red Coat Drive, then Blue Ridge Cut-off; Stadium Drive encircles the park.
Dimensions: Foul lines: 330 ft. (1973); power alleys: 375 ft. (1973), 385 ft. (1990), 375 ft. (1995); center field: 410 ft. (1973), 400 ft. (1995); backstop: 60 ft.; foul territory: small.
Fences: 12 ft. (canvas, 1973), 9 ft. (canvas, 1995).
Ewing Kauffman bought the expansion Kansas City Royals in 1968 and brought the team into the American League’s smallest market. It became one of the most successful franchises in baseball. The Royals have won six division championships, two American League pennants, and one World Series and have drawn more than 2 million fans 11 times in this ballpark. After being known as Royals Stadium for 21 years, the park was renamed Kauffman Stadium on July 2, 1993. A month later the only owner the team had ever had died at the age of 76.
Part of a sports complex that includes Arrowhead Stadium (home of the NFL Chiefs), Kauffman Stadium is one of the most fan-friendly arenas in professional sports. Beyond the fence in right field is a 322-foot-wide fountain, the largest privately funded waterworks in the world, that features lighted cascades between innings. Beyond the fence in left field is a 30-by-40 foot Sony JumboTron video display board that was the largest in the United States when installed in 1990. Of the stadium’s 40,625 seats, over half (20,316) are on the lower level of the three-tiered park. In 1995 the Royals replaced their Astroturf field with natural grass. During 1999 and 2000 the team replaced all of the old red seats with dark blue seats. They also added dugout suites, the Crown Club and the Royal Pavilion.
The stadium opened on April 10, 1973 and hosted the All-Star Game the same year. Nolan Ryan pitched the first no-hitter of his career there on May 15, 1973. Since then, two other no-hitters have been thrown in Kauffman Stadium, both by Royals pitchers. Jim Colborn against the Texas Rangers on May 14, 1977, and Bret Saberhagen beat the Chicago White Sox on August 26, 1991. Dan Quisenberry, Dennis Leonard, Freddie Patek, Cookie Rojas and Amos Otis have all left their mark on Kauffman Stadium, but it will forever be linked to George Brett, one of the greatest hitters in baseball history.
On May 21, 2007, the Royals announced plans for $250 million in renovations to Kauffman Stadium, which would start October 2007 and be completed by Opening Day 2010. The revovated stadium will include a high definition scoreboard, 39,000 seats, fountain view terraces, widened concourses on all three levels and an outfield concourse that will allow fans to walk around the stadium 360 degrees.
Kauffman Stadium Trivia:
More on Kauffman Stadium:
Recommended Reading (bibliography):
Kansas City Royals
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Rendering of the future Kauffman Stadium courtesy of the Kansas City Royals.
Updated May 2007
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