Thursday, July 12, 2018

If you ever get the chance to watch the Royals at 'The K,' DO IT!

Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. 

If you ever find yourself in Kansas City, Missouri during this time of the year, I highly recommend that you take the time to watch a Kansas City Royals game at Kauffman Stadium.

I knew ahead of time that I would be passing through Kansas City last Friday and when I checked to see if the Royals were in town, I discovered that they were hosting the Boston Red Sox in the opening game of a three-game series at home. Back in the old days (pre-internet), to see the game I would have had to buy tickets at the stadium and run the risk that they might be sold out. However, to show how much things have changed, my wife ordered our tickets online from our hotel room in Colorado.

To show how much even more has changed, after ordering the tickets, she then downloaded the MLB Ballpark app on her iPhone and had the tickets sent straight to her phone. The game was scheduled to begin at 7:15 p.m. and when the gates opened at 5:30 p.m. we didn’t even have traditional paper tickets in hand. Instead, an attendant at the gate used a scanner to read our tickets off the screen of my wife’s iPhone, and they printed out from a small little printer the attendant was wearing on her belt.

I’d never been to Kauffman Stadium before Friday, and I was very impressed by how nice it was. Opened in the early 70s, before I was even born, I later learned that “The K” went through an extensive, $281 million renovation in 2009. The result was a beautiful stadium that seats around 40,000.

Me being the cheapskate that I am, we bought the cheapest tickets available, but we ended up having pretty decent seats, in the upper deck on the first base side. I’ve read somewhere before that most modern baseball parks are designed in such away that there just about isn’t a bad seat in the house any more, which suits me fine. Temperature at start time was 90 degrees, so perhaps the best thing about our seats were that they were in the shade.

Prior to the start of the game, the kids and I debated over who we should pull for. I’ve always been somewhat of a Red Sox fan, but when you’re surrounded by Royals fans, you begin to consider whether or not you should pull for the home team. As the saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” I decided to quietly pull for the Red Sox while the kids decided to pull for the Royals.

The kids began to reconsider their decision when Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts, the game’s first batter, opened the game with a deep home run over the left field fence. The Red Sox added two more home runs in the second inning and went on to win, 10-5. The game lasted about three hours and when it was all over with they had a big fireworks show where they turned out all the lights and shot fireworks for about 20 minutes. It was very impressive.

In the end, if you ever get the chance to take in a game at Kauffman Stadium, I highly recommend it. Also, if you’re in Kansas City during football season, you might want to check out a Chiefs game at Arrowhead Stadium, which shares an enormous parking lot with Kauffman Stadium. Both are easy to get to off of Interstate Highway 70, which runs right through the heart of Kansas City.

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