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Kansas City Monarchs owner discusses reasons behind temporary move to Lawrence

LAWRENCE, Kan. — A new baseball diamond not located in Kansas City is hosting the Kansas City Monarchs.

Back to back music festivals followed by rain left Legends Field unplayable. So the Monarchs headed a on I-70 to Lawrence and Hoglund Ballpark at The University of Kansas for five games beginning Sunday.

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Legends Field remains the permanent home of the Kansas City Monarchs. The past four years it’s also been home of a pair of music festivals known as Tacos and Tequila and Phase Fest, co-sponsored by the team.

“We always re-sod afterward. We just didn’t realize there was a depression where the stage was. Last year we didn’t have that problem, the last four years we didn’t have that problem,” Monarchs owner Mark Brandmeyer said.

But this year, field conditions left fans feeling depressed when the club had to cancel Friday’s game after gates were already open. They hoped to play a doubleheader Saturday, but ended up having to move the entire homestand to KU with the field unsafe for play.

“It held some water. Then Saturday we got three inches of rain and it just puddled right there. It made the field unplayable. We feel horrible about that, couldn’t feel worse for our fans,” Brandmeyer said.

So Monday, while crews were busy working on the grass in the outfield, the team and some of its fans headed to Hoglund Ballpark for a second straight day.

“We don’t have all the amenities they have over at Legends Field, it’s pretty nice over there, but we are both KU alums so it’s nice to come back over here,” fan Daniel Stueckemann said.

The situation isn’t ideal. There’s no concessions available at the game, you can bring your own. Since the game was moved, the Monarchs aren’t charging admission. Tickets for games not played at Legends Field can be exchanged for a future game.

“You hate to lose a weekend, but it’s one weekend out of nine. We are going to make it up. We have great fans. Monarch fans, I think, are the best in Kansas City,” Brandmeyer said.

The team’s efforts to make the best out of a bad situation actually worked out for some Lawrence residents.

“Free entrance, so we like baseball, so we wanted to come and check it out, close to home,” Joe Wiles said.

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After a dramatic 4-3 walk-off victory, the Monarchs will play at Hoglund Ballpark again Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. and then Wednesday, June 12 at 4 p.m. Team executives are confident that Legends Field will be ready for the next homestand June 25, and then the league’s all-star game this summer.

Monarchs’ Kids Camp Day is still scheduled at Legends Field for Wednesday, June 12, which will feature a mad science show, on-field activities, a movie on the stadium video board and more.

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