Pro Sports Stadium Review: Kauffman Stadium

Kauffman Stadium, the home of the Kansas City Royals, is one of only two remaining “cookie cutter” ballparks that were built in the 1960s and 1970s. The other is Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

The two ballparks were constructed as “baseball-only” venues, a fact that distinguishes them from today’s multi-use stadiums.

Kauffman Stadium opened forty-two years ago on April 10, 1973 and was renovated over a two year period from 2007-2009.

The park, which was once called Royals Stadium, takes its current name from the team’s founder and original owner, Ewing M. Kauffman.

It has a seating capacity of 37,903 and its attendance record dates back to July 26, 1980 when the home team Royals hosted the visiting New York Yankees before an overflow crowd of 41,860.

The ballpark’s dimensions are perfectly symmetrical, a feature that was common in the “cookie cutter” stadium construction era. Left field and right field are three hundred thirty feet from home plate. The power alleys in left centerfield and right centerfield are three hundred eighty-seven feet from the batter’s box while dead centerfield requires a hitter to drive a ball more than four hundred ten feet.

The renovated park, while looking spruced up these days is actually the sixth oldest playing field in Major League Baseball. It is located in the city’s Truman Sports Complex which is also home to Arrowhead Stadium where the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs play their home games.

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Graphic via fineartamerica

Two important sports-related events have taken place in Kauffman Stadium. The ballpark was the site of the 1973 Major League Baseball All Star game. It was repeated in 2012.

Kauffman Stadium has some interesting features, one of which sets it apart from other baseball parks. That feature is called the Water Spectacular. It is a fountain and waterfall display that is located right behind the right field fence.

At three hundred twenty-two feet in size, it is the largest privately-funded fountain in the world. Renovated Kauffman Stadium also delights fans with its huge electronic scoreboard called Crown Vision.

There is a red Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat in the stands directly behind home plate. It stands out because all other seats are colored blue. Buck O’Neil was a legendary star performer in the old Negro Leagues which flourished before and during World War II. He played for the Kansas City Monarchs.

There are four statues in Kauffman Stadium. Three of them are located behind the fountains in right field. They honor former great ballplayers that were “Royals for life,” George Brett andFrank White Jr. and the team’s best manager, the late Dick Howser.

A fourth statue, of founder Ewing M. Kauffman stands alone in a concourse behind left field. There is lots of history in this charming, old ballpark, lots of memories, as well.

And now that the Kansas City Royals are once again performing well on the field, there are lots of fans at every home game, as well.

Graphic via wikimedia

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