Our long road trip ended with a three-day series in Kansas City over the weekend. I knew that the Royals were undergoing new renovations at their stadium last season, but now it is all upgraded and complete. After our visit, I have to say this: If you haven't been to a Royals game at Kauffman Stadium before (or even if you have), I highly recommend that you check it out this season. It's a great baseball environment.
The new upgrades give it a minor-league feel, but on a much larger scale considering the size of the stadium. The new "fountain" seats that they added in both right center and left center are a nice addition, and probably the one I really liked most. Those look like great seats and seem like a great place to sit during batting practice and the game.
During the game, I think the Royals do a great job with their events between innings. From the beginning of the game — and then pretty much during every inning — the fans were loud and screaming for something, from launched hot dogs to onfield races to t-shirt giveaways. It was cool to see the fans standing for more than just wanting the last out of an inning — or standing between innings other than the middle of the seventh.
We saw a lot of this in Anaheim as well, especially with the movie clips they put on the big screen that incorporate the Rally Monkey, which may be the best thing going in an MLB stadium these days.
I know some people would say that the noise created from the big screens and display boards around the ball park telling fans to make noise can be annoying at times, but I would much rather have noise than quiet fans not seeming to be into the game. The people who dislike baseball usually give the reason that the game is too slow or there is not enough constant action. The game doesn't have the nonstop action of, say, football or basketball, but at least being at the game should still be an enjoyable time no matter what is going on on the field. Some people have even said they had more fun during a loss than a win, simply because of all that was happening around them in the stadium.
All in all, I wouldn't say that Kansas City is my favorite stadium, but it is a great place to watch a game no matter who the opponent is. In the end, my favorite ballpark is Anaheim.
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Curtis Granderson plays center field for the Detroit Tigers and his blog will appear regularly on Yahoo! Sports' Big League Stew during the 2009 season. Make sure to check out and support his Grand Kids Foundation.