Also known as “The K,” Kauffman Stadium is one of the most prominent stadium complexes in Missouri. It belongs to the Truman Sports Complex, located in Kansas City, and it lies close to the Arrowhead Stadium, which is essentially adjacent! The Kauffman is the current home of the Kansas City Chiefs, the local NFL team, as well as The Royals.
The K is named after Ewing Kauffman, a local pharmaceutical entrepreneur who also happened to be the founder of the Royals! This stadium was inaugurated in the early seventies, with its opening in 1973. To this day, this is the only stadium in the American League that is named after an individual, as opposed to having a name that derives from corporate sponsorship. Today, it is common practice to name a stadium after a sponsoring brand. However, The K stays true to its roots and continues to pay tribute to the founder of the Royals.
Since then, it was expanded significantly throughout the decades, with some major renovations in 2009 expanding its seating capacity to nearly 38.000. Although it is used as an NFL playground, this stadium is particularly special because it was constructed with baseball in mind. This is unique for a stadium that dates back to the 1960s and early 1970s since most of the stadiums built in America during those years were usually meant to be a multi-purpose facility. Because of its specificity, the Kauffman has been praised by many people for its intuitive design, paving the way to the modern wave of stadium constructions, alongside other classic venues such as LA’s own Dodger Stadium.
As one of the few baseball-only stadiums, the Kauffman remains one of the few of this kind currently active, although contemporary renovations through the 2000s made the stadium more versatile, especially to accommodate more people to increase ticket revenues. One of the most famous seats in the house is the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat. Although all of the stadium’s seats are blue, there is a red one behind the home plate serving as a tribute to Buck O’Neil, an African-American player who joined the ranks of the Kansas City Monarchs for the Negro Leagues starting from 1937 to his retirement from the sport in the year 1955. This is a heartfelt tribute to one of the most iconic local players, and to this day, the team reserves this seat to a guest, chosen by the community, who would embody the spirit and attitude of Buck O’Neal, who was an inspiration to so many people, including baseball players of all walks of life.
In addition to the newly established capacity, the renovation also brought some amenities for the audience, including a kids playground, some fountain view terraces, and shops, bars, and restaurants. The brand new scoreboard, featuring an HD display, was one of the first new features to be implemented during the renovation. Before the new HD display, the old matrix board was still in use.
In addition to sporting events, the stadium hosted three legendary concerts in the seventies: Fleetwood Mac, as well as Van Halen, and REO Speedwagon. The stadium opened up to concerts in recent years, with Billy Joel holding an event in 2018. This was the first concert held at the K in nearly 40 years! The event opened a new era of interest for concert promoters, but the COVID-19 pandemic halted the development of new shows for the time being.