Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, MO
An Ageless Baseball Wonder.


Image; www.royalsseatingchart.comStadium Entrance-Home of the Kansas City Royals.

Kauffman Stadium, nicknamed "The K", was built April 10, 1973 as the home for the Kansas City, Royals American League Baseball team.

It was the last of the modern-baseball-parks  built in the major leagues from 1966 to 1991. Defying the conventional wisdom of the time it was a purposely built, Baseball Only Stadiums, that ignored those who felt that a standalone Baseball Stadium was not commercially  viable.

 The Stadium is 42 year old and the sixth-oldest, active, major league baseball stadium. Along with Dodger Stadium it is the only modern style stadium that was never converted for use as a multi-purpose stadium.

When built,  the park carried the name Royals Stadium and would not be dubbed Kauffman Stadium until June 1993. You might find it interesting to note that it is the only American league ball park named after a person, Ewing Kauffmann, all the other carry a corporate-sponsored name.


Kauffman Stadium Features


Image; kansascity.royals.mlb.com

As the last of the Modern Baseball Stadium it incorporated some of the design features found in the multi-purpose stadiums yet escaped the cookie-cutter look that plagued most of the stadiums of that era.

Josh Pahigaian and Kevin O'Connel wrote that it is essentially one-third of a cookie-cutter stadium, containing only the seats in a cookie-cutter stadium that provides the best views for the fans.

Image; bestbaseballseats.comThe Fountains At Kauffman Stadium.

The parks best know feature is the fountain and waterfall display. Known as the "Water Spectacular", it stands 322 feet high and located just behind the right field fence. 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.

On April 4, 2006 voter in Jackson County, Missouri approved a 0.375%  point sales tax increase to fund the renovation of Kauffman Stadium and neighboring  Arrow Head Stadium which were both part of the Truman Sports Complex.

Those renovation brought upgrades to the park that enhanced the fan experience and added features that rivaled those found in the earlier Multi-use facilities.


Buck O'Neil Legacy Seat Program


Image; www.americanbaseballjournal.comBuck O'Niel Legacy Seat- #9

In 2007 The Royals dedicated a single red seat among a sea of blue seats in honors the legendary Negro League star, Buck O’Neil.  At each home game one person was chosen to occupy this special seat in recognition for their contributions and impact on their neighbors.

 The Royals played 81 home games that season and for each of those home games, Buck O'Neil's red stadium seat, section 101, row C, seat one, never went empty. For me, this single feature sets Kauffmann Stadium apart from any of the MLB stadiums that were built before or since.

It was an ingenious idea that showcased Ewing Kauffman's true love of the Game of Baseball.


New High Definition Scoreboard


Image; From -dakstats.daktronics.com100-by 85-foot Daktronics Display.

One of the first orders of business for the stadium renovation was to upgrade the outdated and aging Matrix score board. If you want to see them sweet you need High Definition and Kauffman Stadium went for the Gusto.

The upgrade was a dazzling, 100-by  85-foot Daktronics display utilizing HD-X LED technology  which, at the time, was the largest HD LED board in the world. It would be eventually dwarfed by the new scoreboard at Seattle's Safeco Field but, even today, it is a spectacular display of HD technology.

At a cost of $8.3 million the video scoreboard came equipped with a control room and an operating staff of 17.


Hall of Fame Museum


Hall of Fame Museum at Kauffman Stadium-Opened July 2009.Hall of Fame Museum at Kauffman Stadium-Opened July 2009.

Everything about Kauffman Stadium oozes Baseball. Take a look out over the left field fence and you will see what many feel is the stadiums finest feature, the "Royals Hall of Fame Museum". It Combines a first class educational experience with an interactive baseball history display that tantalizes the senesces.

When you couple the innovative marketing approach of the Buck O'Niel Legacy Seat Program with the  beautiful Royals Hall of Fame Museum you can see how the owners of this emasculate facility understand the game of baseball and the fans who love the game so much.   


Field Dimensions & Stats 


Stadium Dimensions:

Former Name;

·        Royals Stadium (1976-1993)

Address;

·        One Royal Way-Kansas City, Missouri

Owner;

·        Jackson Sports Complex Authority

Operator;

·        Jackson Sports Complex Authority

Capacity;

·        37,903

·        40,933 (2012)

·        40,625 (1973)

·        38,177 (2009)

Record Attendance;

·        41,860 (July 26, 1980, Royals vs Yankees)

Field Size;

·        Left Field - 330 ft (101 m)

·        Left-Center - 387 ft (118 m)

·        Center Field - 410 ft (125 m)

·        Right Center - 387 ft (118 m)

·        Right Field - 330 ft (101 m)

·        Backstop - 60 ft (18 m)

Surface;

·        Astro Turf (1973-1994)

·        Grass (Bluegrass & Rye mix, 1995 to Present)


Kauffman Stadium - Kansas City RoyalsKauffman Stadium - Kansas City Royals

Kauffman Stadium is the crowning achievement of Ewing Kauffman and the Kansas City Royals that continues to delight fans of all ages. The only thing that this beautiful stadium is missing is a roof. Although they tried and failed you may, someday, see that feature.

If done, this park may last another 42+ years and it could join Fenway Park and Wrigley Field in the annals of Baseball Park legends. 

Kansas City Baseball fans will have yet another reason to come and enjoy the world's most beautiful game.


When I started this article I found myself a bit confused. What was the Park's actual name?,  Was it Washington Park and if so Why? Who was in charge of naming these new structures? Why did they all have more than one name at the same time?

Well as it works out the blame lies with the Baseball Owners. Almost every new stadium built carried the phrase "Also Know As" and that is how the Fans liked it. It was actually the Fans that determined what name the stadium would carry. 

Brooklyn had it's Park but so did Chicago, Philadelphia, Ohio and Missouri. Each parks name was fueled by the neighborhood in which belonged. When you look at it there is no difference even in today's Baseball

The growth and popularity of almost every region of America was dependant on  the presence of a Professional Baseball Stadium.

The Stadium was one of those Historic Cathedrals but it would die before it's time.

It was clear that the ultimate value of a Baseball Stadium comes from the performances on the field. Those performances are made memorable because of the Athletics who played the game. Player acquisition became an art form and, often times that quest would, challenged the legal system.

Player stealing and Team Hopping became a way of life and ultimately led to the adoption of ,what is now, the Collective Bargaining System.

It was the Home runs that brought the fans to the parks and Eastern Park could not deliver. To add insult to injury the park was built in what was called the Dead Ball Era which exasperated the parks woe's

 

Home> (Baseball Field History, The Evolution of Our Field of Dreams)


Eastern Park & The Home Run


This new stadium was a Glorious Cathedral that was eagerly anticipated. This original, all wood, structures was built on a large parcel that allowed the field dimensions to be very large. The finished Stadium, like most of the time, was too big and didn't give the fans what they were looking for, the Home Run.

A Home run to left had to travel over 300 feet and clear a wall 25ft high. It took a shots of over 380 feet in the allies and over 410 feet to dead center.

It was the Home runs that brought the fans to the parks and Eastern Park could not deliver. To add insult to injury the park was built in what was called the Dead Ball Era which exasperated the parks woe's

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