Home of Major League Baseball
's Kansas City Royals
since 1973. Named Royals Stadium
until 1993; built to replace Municipal Stadium
. Generally considered one of baseball
's better stadiums; definitely the best ballpark
built in the 60s or 70s.
Kauffman Stadium was the only baseball-only stadium built between 1962 and 1991; during that era, the trend was to build multi-sport stadiums that looked identical in every city. Thankfully, Jackson County, Missouri decided to build 2 stadiums side-by-side instead: Arrowhead Stadium (home of the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs), and Kauffman Stadium.
While the dimensions of the park are symmetrical (330 ft down the lines, 400 ft in center), much of the beauty of the park comes from what lies beyond the outfield wall. A 322-foot wide fountain, the largest private waterworks in the world, lies just behind the wall; between innings, a light display shines on the cascading water. Above the waterfall is a 10-story scoreboard in the shape of the Royals logo. There are no seats in the outfield, meaning that most fans are closer to the field and batters have a better hitting background than most ballparks.
The stadium was renamed for Royals' original owner Ewing Kauffman in 1993, just one month before his death. In 1995, the stadium's Astroturf was replaced with natural grass, increasing the stadium's appeal. If you are driving on Interstate 70 east of Kansas City, make sure to look to the south - you get a wonderful view across the outfield of the ballpark.
The Royals enjoyed great success in the late 70s and early 80s, and Kauffman Stadium hosted the World Series in 1980 and 1985. In its first year of existence, 1973, the ballpark hosted the All-Star Game and was the site of Nolan Ryan's first career no-hitter, on May 15.