10 Never Before Seen Facts on Kauffman Stadium

By: Sports Teller


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10 Never Before Seen Facts on Kauffman Stadium

Kauffman Stadium is one of the Midwest’s legendary stadiums every baseball fan has on their bucket list. In fact, the Royals ballpark opened in 1973 and last hosted the All-Star Game in 2012. Any Kansas City fan that bleeds Royals Blue will know every information possible, from the team winning the World Series in 2015 to Zack Greinke winning the Cy Young Award in 2009. However, there are new Kauffman Stadium facts that many baseball supporters never knew or never heard of in their lives. For details on what facts baseball fans rarely knew about, please refer to 10 Never Before Seen Facts on Kauffman Stadium below!

10: Royals Sold Outfield Fountain Water at the Main Team Store

The outfield water fountains were perhaps the most popular addition to Kauffman Stadium during the 2009 renovations. The feature would shoot up water throughout the game, including the team’s home victory. Before the fountains, the outfield was just a grass berm area with no additional seats. After the Royals implemented the water features, it became so famous that fans could take a piece of the fountains home. During the 2014 season, Kauffman Stadium sold bottles of water from the outfield fountains

At the main team store, fans can acquire the water fountain bottles for nearly $20.00. By the way, MLB authenticated those bottles and they were not meant for beverages. 2014 turned out to be a special year for Kansas City as the club not only broke their postseason drought, but they made it to the World Series. However, it is unknown if the Royals are selling the water fountain bottles today. 

9: Fan Fell to his Death at Kauffman Stadium Attempting to do Handstand

Sometimes, unfortunate and tragic things can happen at baseball games or any sports stadium. Sadly, a fan casualty occurred at Kauffman Stadium during a Royals vs. Yankees contest in 1989. At some point in the 8th inning, a 20-year old Mike Wurzer was trying to do a handstand on the top level railing. Then, he lost his balance and fell nearly 20 feet to ground level. Wurzer was later taken to the hospital and pronounced dead from a broken neck. The tragedy was the first and only fan casualty to take place at Kauffman Stadium. 

Since the incident, the Royals have taken major steps to ensure something like that never happens again. For instance, the team trained the ushers and security guards to pay close attention to anyone near railings. If stadium employees see someone lean over the railing or even stand on one, then they would tell him or her to return to their ticketed seat. 

8: Royals Ballpark has not Hosted a Live Concert in Nearly 40 Years

Throughout its history, Kauffman Stadium has been a baseball-only venue and it wasn’t designed for any other events. In fact, the Royals ballpark rarely hosts live music concerts since touring artists would perform at either Arrowhead Stadium nearby or T-Mobile Center downtown. But did you know that Kauffman Stadium hasn’t hosted a live concert in nearly 40 years? Well, that was until 2018, when singer and pianist Billy Joel came to the Royals venue to play a sold-out show. 

Joel is no stranger to performing at MLB stadiums as he played at Camden Yards in Baltimore. Prior to Billy Joel night, the last time Kauffman Stadium hosted a live show was in 1979 with REO Speedwagon featuring Santana. For the record, those shows were never part of the Royals postgame concert series as those shows took place during the off-season. 

7: What’s that Red Seat Behind Home Plate at Kauffman Stadium?

It is not uncommon that there is a random colored seat located at various MLB ballparks. For example, Fenway Park has the red seat at right field where Ted Williams hit the venue’s longest home run to date. Fortunately for the Royals, there is a red seat at Kauffman Stadium behind home plate. Now, many fans are wondering: what’s that red seat for and who is it dedicated to? That sitting area is called the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat, which is given to someone who was nominated by the community for his or her efforts in Kansas City society. 

The promotion was named in honor of former Kansas City Monarchs player/manager Buck O’Neil. If a fan wants to nominate someone in the community, he or she needs to write a 100-word essay describing the nominee’s impact on Kansas City. If the nominee wins, then he or she would receive the following: tickets to a future Royals game at the red seat, a Buck O’Neil legacy plaque, and an advanced parking pass. 

6: A Royals Game was Delayed Because the Water Pipe Broke

Normally, baseball games would go into delay because of inclement weather or a thunderstorm threat. Interestingly, baseball contests can also be delayed due to unusual and rare circumstances. For instance, a Dodgers Game ended abruptly in 2018 when a sewage leakage spilled over near the 3rd base dugout. But did you know that a Royals game at Kauffman Stadium was delayed due to a water pipe issue?

 During a Royals game vs. Cleveland in August 2018, a water pipe broke in the right field bullpen and spilled over the area’s warning track. To make matters worse was that the game was in the 4th inning with Kansas City on top 3-2. When the water leakage was discovered, the contest was delayed for about a half hour. The game resumed following the stadium’s decision to close down water valves at the bullpen. Despite the rare occurrence, the Royals went on to defeat Cleveland 5-4

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5: Kansas Jayhawks Men’s Basketball Team Visited Kauffman Stadium

Kauffman Stadium is a great ballpark for team celebrations, whether it’s for the Royals or for someone special’s birthday. Since 2014, the Royals ballpark hosted two trophy presentations for the team when they won back-to-back American League Championship Series. But recently, Kauffman Stadium hosted the celebration for the Kansas Jayhawks’ 2022 National Title for Men’s Basketball. To clarify, the Royals invited the entire Jayhawks squad to attend their home opener vs. Guardians. 

In April 2022, the Kansas basketball club sat in one of the luxury suites at Kauffman Stadium. Among the Jayhawks in attendance were PG Ochai Agbaji, G Christian Braun, and Head Coach Bill Self. The Jayhawks, who defeated North Carolina to claim their 2022 championship, won their first title since 2008. Even though the Jayhawks had a great time, the Royals didn’t because they got blown out by Cleveland 17-3 (including a 6-run 1st inning). 

4: Royals Ballpark is the Only MLB Stadium to have a Mini-Golf Course

There are some MLB ballparks in the country that have one feature fans can’t find anywhere else. Comerica Park in Detroit has a Ferris Wheel, while Fenway Park has the Green Monster. Yankee Stadium has Monument Park, while Minute Maid Park has a moving train above left field. But did you know that Kauffman Stadium is the only MLB ballpark that has a miniature golf course? Located in the outfield concourse, there is a five-hole mini putt-putt golf course with a price of one token. 

Those five holes are the following: (1) a baseball head, (2) a baseball bat rack, (3) a retired jersey hill for Royals legends like George Brett and Dick Howser, (4) a small river, and (5) a mini baseball field. Of course, fans are forbidden from eating or drinking during golfing. The mini putt-putt golf is not the only attraction in the outfield concourse. Kauffman Stadium has other experiences such as the Carousel with Team Branding, Royals Hall of Fame Museum, and a Playground. 

3: Truman Sports Complex was the 1st Complex to Build Two Stadiums in One Property

In the past, sports stadiums had a trend for hosting multiple teams in one building. For example, Atlanta Fulton County Stadium hosted both the Braves and Falcons for nearly 30 years. Another example is that Veterans Field in Philadelphia hosted both the Phillies and Eagles for about two decades. But believe it or not, Kansas City did something no other city had ever done before. In the 1970s, the Truman Sports Complex became the first complex to open separate stadiums rather than build one for multi-use purposes. 

Named after former U.S. President and Kansas City native Harry S. Truman, the sports complex consists of Kauffman Stadium (Royals) and Arrowhead Stadium (Chiefs). Not only did the complex become the home for sporting events, but it also became the home for concerts. There’s even a historic marker located not far from Arrowhead Stadium detailing the significance of Truman Sports Complex. 

2: Royals Ballpark Violated More than a Dozen Health Codes in 2014

The Royals made history in 2014 by not only beating the heavily-favored Oakland Athletics in the Wild Card Game, but by advancing to their first Fall Classic since 1985. However, Kansas City also made history for the wrong reasons. In late 2014, there was a conversation about Kauffman Stadium violating more than a dozen health codes. This scenario came at a bad time as the Royals were making their unlikely postseason run. Those violations were the following: mold on bread and buns, garbage bags in sanitization sinks, mice droppings on kitchen tables, and cockroaches on kitchen floors. 

However, Kauffman Stadium’s food concessions provider Aramark® denied the improper food safety claims. Also, the Royals made a statement saying that they are committed to high quality food sanitization methods from day to night. Since the incident, Kauffman Stadium has not had another set of food safety violations like it encountered in 2014. 

1: Kauffman Stadium was Going to Have a Retractable Roof

Kauffman Stadium is an open-air stadium that allows fans to see the moving cars of the highway from their seats. However, building an open-air stadium has disadvantages when it comes to rain delays and snow days. But did you know that Kauffman Stadium almost had a retractable roof? But it’s not the type of roof you were thinking of. At Truman Sports Complex, the retractable roof would not have been like any other as the structure would have rolled from Kauffman Stadium to Arrowhead Stadium. To be more clear, both the Royals and Chiefs would have shared the rolling roof depending on which season they’re in. 

The proposed idea even dated back to the 1960s. Finally, in the mid-2000s, the Sports Complex made a proposal to add a rolling roof to improve climate control. In addition, Kansas City was going to host Super Bowl XLIX in early 2015 had the roof plan gone through. Unfortunately, the rolling roof idea was scrapped due to lack of voter support and high construction costs. Also, the NFL moved Super Bowl XLIX to Arizona (where the Patriots defeated the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks). 

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