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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Royals Review: Kauffman Stadium Turns 40

There was a very real fear that one or both of the teams could relocate. The report cited the “progressive” city of Atlanta, that built a multi-purpose stadium and then attracted a baseball and football team. These new stadia were all the rage with the Astrodome leading the way. Kansas City and Jackson County wanted to stake their ground. This is what they proposed:

Kansas City was thinking big. Also included in the plans were secondary proposals for a smaller arena for hockey, basketball and other events. Possible usage was listed and included: professional football, professional baseball, collegiate football and baseball, high school football championship games, NCAA and AAU track meets, professional and collegiate basketball, high school basketball, professional hockey, professional and Golden Gloves boxing, professional and collegiate wrestling, exhibition tennis, gymnastic meets, swimming and diving competitions, horse shows, soccer, bowling and curling.

The dome was to contain 49,000 fixed seats with movable stands and bleachers to provide a total capacity of 60,000. Seating for baseball would be 56,000…..

People grew frustrated that there was little movement on the stadium issue. Included in my books is a speech written by future mayor Charles Wheeler, at the time the Judge of the Western District of the Jackson County Court. Dated April 3, 1968, Wheeler expressed caution moving forward too quickly as well as disdain for a certain party whom were operating without the best interest of the citizenry at heart: Franchise owners. His speech contains this passage:

“Kansas Citians are very knowledgable about franchise owners. From their experiences with Arnold Johnson and Charles O. Finley, Kansas Citians know franchise owners can be very difficult to deal with. Since franchise owners have to be millionaires, I would like to say a few words about millionaires in general…

Millionaires generally have a great ability to make money. They spend a great deal of their time looking over ledgers. Some millionaires like to be subsidized by the public and will look for situations where they are guaranteed a alarge profit. Major league francises probably fit into this category. After all, winning was no part of Charles O. Finley’s operation. Nevertheless, his franchise more than doubled in value over six losing years in Kansas City. It is one of those rare situations in life where you can win financially, while you are losing.”

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What could have been - The BarbecueDome!

There was a very real fear that one or both of the teams could relocate. The report cited the “progressive” city of Atlanta, that built a multi-purpose stadium and then attracted a baseball and football team. These new stadia were all the rage with the Astrodome leading the way. Kansas City and Jackson County wanted to stake their ground. This is what they proposed:

Kansas City was thinking big. Also included in the plans were secondary proposals for a smaller arena for hockey, basketball and other events. Possible usage was listed and included: professional football, professional baseball, collegiate football and baseball, high school football championship games, NCAA and AAU track meets, professional and collegiate basketball, high school basketball, professional hockey, professional and Golden Gloves boxing, professional and collegiate wrestling, exhibition tennis, gymnastic meets, swimming and diving competitions, horse shows, soccer, bowling and curling.

The dome was to contain 49,000 fixed seats with movable stands and bleachers to provide a total capacity of 60,000. Seating for baseball would be 56,000…..

People grew frustrated that there was little movement on the stadium issue. Included in my books is a speech written by future mayor Charles Wheeler, at the time the Judge of the Western District of the Jackson County Court. Dated April 3, 1968, Wheeler expressed caution moving forward too quickly as well as disdain for a certain party whom were operating without the best interest of the citizenry at heart: Franchise owners. His speech contains this passage:

“Kansas Citians are very knowledgable about franchise owners. From their experiences with Arnold Johnson and Charles O. Finley, Kansas Citians know franchise owners can be very difficult to deal with. Since franchise owners have to be millionaires, I would like to say a few words about millionaires in general…

Millionaires generally have a great ability to make money. They spend a great deal of their time looking over ledgers. Some millionaires like to be subsidized by the public and will look for situations where they are guaranteed a alarge profit. Major league francises probably fit into this category. After all, winning was no part of Charles O. Finley’s operation. Nevertheless, his franchise more than doubled in value over six losing years in Kansas City. It is one of those rare situations in life where you can win financially, while you are losing.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 10, 2013 at 09:51 AM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: charlie finley, ewing kauffman, kauffman stadium, royals

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   1. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: April 10, 2013 at 05:08 PM (#4410136)
Man, the things that people thought were good ideas back in the 60s were almost all bad ideas, weren't they?
   2. Perry Posted: April 10, 2013 at 05:51 PM (#4410160)
Man, the things that people thought were good ideas back in the 60s were almost all bad ideas, weren't they?


Maybe in buildings and fashion, but I'd say the Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, the space program, the Clean Air Act (okay, 1970), Medicare, Medicaid, VISTA, the Peace Corps, and Dylan going electric were pretty good ideas.
   3. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: April 10, 2013 at 06:14 PM (#4410175)
My article on the 40th anniversary of the debut of Royals Stadium. Hey, it was called that when it debuted.
   4. Bruce Markusen Posted: April 10, 2013 at 07:04 PM (#4410202)
Of all the ballparks built in this era, Royals Stadium was the best. Granted, it had artificial turf, but it also had the grass slope in the outfield and the fountains. It always looked much more appealing than Three Rivers, Riverfront, Busch Stadium, and the Astrodome.
   5. Perry Posted: April 10, 2013 at 07:12 PM (#4410208)
Of all the ballparks built in this era, Royals Stadium was the best. Granted, it had artificial turf, but it also had the grass slope in the outfield and the fountains. It always looked much more appealing than Three Rivers, Riverfront, Busch Stadium, and the Astrodome.


Definitely agree with that. I wasn't there before the renovation/upgrade, but I visited in I think 2010 and was thoroughly impressed. The only bad thing about it is its suburban location, with no walkable bars/restaurants nearby (Denny's doesn't count).
   6. cardsfanboy Posted: April 10, 2013 at 07:20 PM (#4410213)
Of all the ballparks built in this era, Royals Stadium was the best. Granted, it had artificial turf, but it also had the grass slope in the outfield and the fountains. It always looked much more appealing than Three Rivers, Riverfront, Busch Stadium, and the Astrodome.


It consistently graded out as top five ballparks in baseball for most of it's tenure. This is before nostalgia turned travesties like Wrigley and Fenway into "great" parks.
   7. PreservedFish Posted: April 10, 2013 at 07:32 PM (#4410220)
Drove by it the other day. Still a very attractive stadium.
   8. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: April 10, 2013 at 07:35 PM (#4410222)
Maybe in buildings and fashion, but I'd say the Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, the space program, the Clean Air Act (okay, 1970), Medicare, Medicaid, VISTA, the Peace Corps, and Dylan going electric were pretty good ideas.


Hey, listen you commie, pinko bast*rd, we don't want any of your leftist sh*t here!
   9. ajnrules Posted: April 10, 2013 at 08:03 PM (#4410234)
I think it's perhaps the most underrated stadium in baseball right now. Hopefully the Royals can keep up their inspired play so people can be reminded how great it is!
   10. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: April 10, 2013 at 09:34 PM (#4410314)
Maybe in buildings and fashion, but I'd say the Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, the space program, the Clean Air Act (okay, 1970), Medicare, Medicaid, VISTA, the Peace Corps, and Dylan going electric were pretty good ideas.


Fairplay. But it does feel like the 60s consists mostly of The Doors, Richard Nixon, and the Astrodome. And nuclear proliferation. And George Wallace getting a lot of votes. And public housing.
   11. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 11, 2013 at 04:19 AM (#4410485)
And public housing.


The problem wasn't so much the architecture of public housing (much of which was a marked improvement on the slums built at the turn of the century or before it replaced), but the policing of public housing along with the criminalization of its residents in the name of the 'war on drugs'. That and welfare rules, which all but prohibited intact families.

As for the housing itself, a lot of the principles grew out of the original theses of modern architecture, an important one of which was minimum existenz, which set targets for minimum room sizes, ventiliation, greenery, and so on, all in order to improve on the ugly, disgraceful, unhealthy housing that predominated for the 'lesser' classes. Instead, minimum existenz became the maximum allowed in public housing, sorta defeating the purpose. Inexpensive apartment houses are largely simple geometries and skin. Further, when you do things like save a half of one percent of the cost of the project by going with an ugly, matte brown brick instead of a beautiful golden, satin finish, or a rich, red clay, well, you get what you pay for.
   12. JE (Jason) Posted: April 11, 2013 at 07:20 AM (#4410505)
Of all the ballparks built in this era, Royals Stadium was the best. Granted, it had artificial turf, but it also had the grass slope in the outfield and the fountains. It always looked much more appealing than Three Rivers, Riverfront, Busch Stadium, and the Astrodome.

I visited the ballpark in 2010 and was really, really impressed. The season ticket holder who took me to the game was no fan of the front office but did say they were smart to turn down the municipal authorities' offer of a new ballpark, insisting instead for the renovation.
   13. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: April 11, 2013 at 04:28 PM (#4411067)
Public housing is to real housing as the Astrodome is to Dodger Stadium.
   14. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 11, 2013 at 04:36 PM (#4411080)
As the DH is to real baseball.
   15. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 11, 2013 at 05:05 PM (#4411107)
Sigh.

There's some remarkable public housing; likely better than what you're living in.

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