Kauffman Stadium is one of the highlights of Kansas City. Originally known as Royals Stadium, this ballpark sits on I-70 and as you pass by, you can see into the stadium and the back of the beautiful crown scoreboard. Opening in 1973, the park was renamed in honor of Ewing M. Kauffman in 1993, the man who bought the club as an expansion franchise in 1968. The stadium is part of the Harry S. Truman Sports Complex, which houses Arrowhead Stadium right next door.
After my first visit to the ballpark in 1974, I was totally hooked. The park was gorgeous with it's simplistic, yet attractive design. One of it's nicest features is the 322-foot-wide water spectacular, the largest privately funded fountain in the world. The dancing water is quite pretty to watch, particularly at night when the lights are on. The fountains entertain between innings while the waterfall is constantly flowing. Royals/Kauffman Stadium has often been called the most beautiful park in all of baseball. I remember standing in the parking lot after my first night game there. The lights were on and the stadium looked beautiful and I couldn't wait to make another trip back there.
During recent renovations, the scoreboard was replaced with a new high definition LED edition that is 12 stories tall and 84 feet wide. At the time of its installation, it was said to be the largest scoreboard of its kind in the world. The colors and graphics are totally amazing. It is topped by the crown that has always been the crowning jewel on the top of the scoreboard.
The renovations brought a new look to Kauffman Stadium, with new seating areas in front of the outfield fountains, the Hall of Fame building and many activities for children and families to enjoy.
I've been a fan of the Royals since my first visit in 1974. Though the Royals have struggled in recent years, it was not always like that. In 1980 they played in the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies and in 1985, the Royals won the World Series against their cross-state rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals. Between 1976 and 1985, they reached the playoffs seven times with the New York Yankees as their rivals many of those years.
I feel very fortunate to have witnessed the Royals during their glory days. I watched George Brett and the pine tar incident and his quest to hit .400. He ended the season at .390. He is the only player to win a batting title in 3 different decades. George remains their biggest star and is still affiliated with the team years after his retirement. Many excellent players have played for the Royals over the years including Frank White, Bo Jackson, Johnny Damon, Bret Saberhagen, Dan Quisenberry and many, many more. Though the team has struggled for the past several years, I remain a fan and continue to attend games when I can.
The cost for tickets is much less than many other parks around the country. Depending on the series, tickets can be as cheap as $5 and go up to $115.
Kauffman Stadium is a wonderful place to take your family for a day at the ballpark. It's a beautiful stadium with lots to do and see.