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maurice
09-05-2006, 01:17 PM
Just got back from KC. For the cost of 2 cheap round-trip plane tickets, we rode first-class on Amtrak. The SW Chief departs every day from Union Station towards KC and, eventually, LA. First-class fare includes access to the lounge at Union Station, a private "roomette" in the sleeper car, all meals in the dining car, coffee, juice, and the morning paper. Awesome experience.

Anybody who complains that Sox Park is a "ball mall in the middle of nowhere" should visit Kauffman Stadium. Itís off the interstate, but surrounded by nothing but parking lots and the Chiefís stadium (Arrowhead). Cementing their status as a second-tier team in their own town, the parking lots around Kauffman are labeled "Arrowhead Parking." Season ticket holders park right next to the park, but others are directed past numerous empty parking spaces to the lots near Arrowhead and a pointlessly long walk. Why so many open spaces? Because the park is empty in September, even on a beautiful weekend fireworks night. In addition to the lack of fans, the park itself is reminiscent of a minor-league stadium. The only "major league" features are a large (but empty) upper deck and the fountain shows. The park is extremely dated in its decor and extensive use of barren, eroding concrete. There are almost no outfield seats, but the ones they have are very good, IMO. Full plastic seats that are 80% empty. Half of people out there were Sox fans. Full-price tickets are only $12, but we got half-off with a discount card from the tourism office. Amazing deal. The games, for the most part, sucked . . . but you already knew that.

Everybody in KC is ridiculously friendly. The population is fairly fit, which is surprising because virtually nobody walks anywhere. Public transportation is limited, so itís all cars, all the time for most locals. OTOH, we walked as much as possible. Since they rarely see pedestrians, KC drivers have a nasty habit of stopping in the middle of the crosswalk at intersections, often leaving you no room to walk around without venturing into traffic.

BBQ is king in KC. Top-rated places include the famous Arthur Bryantís (http://www.arthurbryantsbbq.com/), Gatesí (http://www.gatesbbq.com/locations.html), Jack Stack (http://www.jackstackbbq.com/), and LCís (http://www.lcsbar-b-que.nv.switchboard.com/). The local brew is made by Boulevard Brewing Co. (http://www.boulevard.com/index.cfm) The original Bryantís is near the museums on 18th & Vine, namely the excellent Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (http://www.nlbm.com) and the American Jazz Museum (http://www.americanjazzmuseum.com/index.php) right next door. The area is in the midst of a revitalization effort, including a number of Blues / Jazz clubs. Downtown KC is nothing special, but theyíre working on that area as well. Construction everywhere.

Just south of downtown is the totally refurbished Union Station (http://unionstation.org/), the WWI memorial / museum (http://www.libertymemorialmuseum.org/), and the Crown Center (http://www.crowncenter.com/) shopping mall. Crown Center is the location of several annual festivals, including both Irish Fest and Oktoberfest in September. More interesting and traditional (non-mall) shopping is available in the historic Westport (http://www.westportkc.com/) area.

The upscale shopping district is Country Club Plaza (http://www.countryclubplaza.com/). It's also is a popular place for dining, and many Sox can be seen having lunch there, including Ozzieís posse. (I had to restrain Mrs. / Dr. Maurice from kicking him in the shin for playing Mackowiak Friday, one of the worst single-game defensive performances in Sox history. In a matter of 2 innings, he converted 2 fly ball outs and a routine single into 3 KC doubles, sprinting in the wrong direction on every single play. But I digress.) A number of interesting attractions run east from the Plaza between Main and The Paseo, including a free art museum (http://www.nelson-atkins.org/), a toy museum (http://www.umkc.edu/tmm/) on the UMKC campus, the beautiful Kauffman Memorial Garden (http://www.powellgardens.org/default.asp?page=KauffmanMap), Discovery Center (http://www.mdc.mo.gov/areas/kcmetro/discovery/), and an excellent Gates BBQ location. Incidentally, every other thing in KC is named "Kauffman," and the obligatory statue outside of Kauffman Field is not George Brett . . . itís (you guessed it) the Kauffmans.

salty99
09-05-2006, 01:52 PM
"Kauffman," and the obligatory statue outside of Kauffman Field is not George Brett . . . itís (you guessed it) the Kauffmans.

There is a George Brett statue right outside the park and I have the pictures to prove it. There was also a free shuttle from our hotel to the park and many people just walked from there. People even parked in the hotel parking lot, tailgated and then walked over. And yes the Plaza area is very nice.

Frankly Missing
09-05-2006, 03:20 PM
Perhaps they have different parking arrangements on weekdays. Or maybe it was the 101 degree heat that day.

Tuesday, Aug 2nd, I arrived at the ballpark 2 hours prior to the game and was told to "park anywhere". Which was in the front row with shade from trees.

Max Power
09-05-2006, 03:30 PM
Very informative. I'll be stopping in KC in a couple of weeks and plan to take in the Royals-Tigers game. Can't wait to see the stadium (teal?).

caulfield12
09-05-2006, 04:34 PM
Just got back from KC. For the cost of 2 cheap round-trip plane tickets, we rode first-class on Amtrak. The SW Chief departs every day from Union Station towards KC and, eventually, LA. First-class fare includes access to the lounge at Union Station, a private "roomette" in the sleeper car, all meals in the dining car, coffee, juice, and the morning paper. Awesome experience.

Anybody who complains that Sox Park is a "ball mall in the middle of nowhere" should visit Kauffman Stadium. Itís off the interstate, but surrounded by nothing but parking lots and the Chiefís stadium (Arrowhead). Cementing their status as a second-tier team in their own town, the parking lots around Kauffman are labeled "Arrowhead Parking." Season ticket holders park right next to the park, but others are directed past numerous empty parking spaces to the lots near Arrowhead and a pointlessly long walk. Why so many open spaces? Because the park is empty in September, even on a beautiful weekend fireworks night. In addition to the lack of fans, the park itself is reminiscent of a minor-league stadium. The only "major league" features are a large (but empty) upper deck and the fountain shows. The park is extremely dated in its decor and extensive use of barren, eroding concrete. There are almost no outfield seats, but the ones they have are very good, IMO. Full plastic seats that are 80% empty. Half of people out there were Sox fans. Full-price tickets are only $12, but we got half-off with a discount card from the tourism office. Amazing deal. The games, for the most part, sucked . . . but you already knew that.

Everybody in KC is ridiculously friendly. The population is fairly fit, which is surprising because virtually nobody walks anywhere. Public transportation is limited, so itís all cars, all the time for most locals. OTOH, we walked as much as possible. Since they rarely see pedestrians, KC drivers have a nasty habit of stopping in the middle of the crosswalk at intersections, often leaving you no room to walk around without venturing into traffic.

BBQ is king in KC. Top-rated places include the famous Arthur Bryantís (http://www.arthurbryantsbbq.com/), Gatesí (http://www.gatesbbq.com/locations.html), Jack Stack (http://www.jackstackbbq.com/), and LCís (http://www.lcsbar-b-que.nv.switchboard.com/). The local brew is made by Boulevard Brewing Co. (http://www.boulevard.com/index.cfm) The original Bryantís is near the museums on 18th & Vine, namely the excellent Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (http://www.nlbm.com) and the American Jazz Museum (http://www.americanjazzmuseum.com/index.php) right next door. The area is in the midst of a revitalization effort, including a number of Blues / Jazz clubs. Downtown KC is nothing special, but theyíre working on that area as well. Construction everywhere.

Just south of downtown is the totally refurbished Union Station (http://unionstation.org/), the WWI memorial / museum (http://www.libertymemorialmuseum.org/), and the Crown Center (http://www.crowncenter.com/) shopping mall. Crown Center is the location of several annual festivals, including both Irish Fest and Oktoberfest in September. More interesting and traditional (non-mall) shopping is available in the historic Westport (http://www.westportkc.com/) area.

The upscale shopping district is Country Club Plaza (http://www.countryclubplaza.com/). It's also is a popular place for dining, and many Sox can be seen having lunch there, including Ozzieís posse. (I had to restrain Mrs. / Dr. Maurice from kicking him in the shin for playing Mackowiak Friday, one of the worst single-game defensive performances in Sox history. In a matter of 2 innings, he converted 2 fly ball outs and a routine single into 3 KC doubles, sprinting in the wrong direction on every single play. But I digress.) A number of interesting attractions run east from the Plaza between Main and The Paseo, including a free art museum (http://www.nelson-atkins.org/), a toy museum (http://www.umkc.edu/tmm/) on the UMKC campus, the beautiful Kauffman Memorial Garden (http://www.powellgardens.org/default.asp?page=KauffmanMap), Discovery Center (http://www.mdc.mo.gov/areas/kcmetro/discovery/), and an excellent Gates BBQ location. Incidentally, every other thing in KC is named "Kauffman," and the obligatory statue outside of Kauffman Field is not George Brett . . . itís (you guessed it) the Kauffmans.

Kansas City is actually one of the three "fattest" cities in the US, you only saw what would be Wrigley Yuppies and tourists around the Plaza, probably mothers who don't work and spend most of their time at the spas getting facials and pedicures/manicures.

By and large, the drivers are very respectful in the Plaza area towards pedestrians crossing. There's a ton of people on the Plaza on most weekends, it's almost impossible to drive 20 MPH through there without stopping for people crossing to the Cheesecake Factory or some other similar restaurant.

The Royals' stadium was one of the primary models for USCF. The upper deck is virtually the same grade or slant or rake as they say in architecture school. When it's full, it's a beautiful stadium. It's easy to bag on Comiskey, every stadium looks worse half full or less most nights. Kansas Citians love their winning teams (were supportive in 2003), but nobody in the Midwest rivals either Cards or Cubs fans for blindly supporting their teams.

In fact, I bet of 100 surveys of fans/architects/writers regarding the most beautiful stadiums in the game, Kauffman always ranks ahead of Comiskey. It usually is between 8th-12th among all stadiums. It's always seen as the one early 70's stadium that still stands and has its charms and nuances.

They're building a new basketball arena (The Sprint Center) to replace Kemper Arena. They will also have a Power and Light District with restaurants, hotels, theatre, etc. That should make the downtown more of a destination...it's dead now on the weekends and at night.

Most of the fans here would love to have a downtown park on the river. Unfortunately, the stadium authority has always connected the two facilities, and the Glass Family cannot escape Lamar Hunt's control of the city...along with the Kauffmans, Halls (Hallmark Cards), Kempers and Blochs (H&R Bloch).

The Chiefs don't want an abandoned baseball stadium next to their football stadium. I suppose you could tear it down, but voters here don't trust Glass (popularity the same as Loria, if not lower, although the new GM is the most popular guy in town behind Herm Edwards and Larry Johnson for now) and think he wants to move the team. If the Royals were playing like they did in the 80's, things would be 100% different....like it is in Detroit this season.

maurice
09-05-2006, 05:17 PM
Kansas City is actually one of the three "fattest" cities in the US

I guess the fat folks were the majority of locals in their cars blocking the crosswalks away from the Plaza.
:cool:

I obviously spent most of my time away from the yuppies at the Plaza, so most of what I said has nothing to do with those folks. The blocked crosswalks were all over and even the folks ordering burnt ends at the BBQ joints were, on average, pretty damn fit. There's every reason to expect them to be fat, but I didn't see it. Go figure.

The Royals' stadium was one of the primary models for USCF.

I remember, and it shows. The main difference is that the last few years have covered up some of the Kauffman-esque elements of the Cell that many (most?) Sox fans hated, particularly the roof, exposed concrete, and empty blue seats. Meanwhile, here's Kauffman:
http://www.ballparksofbaseball.com/al/kauff901.JPG

http://www.ballparksofbaseball.com/al/kauff903.JPG

In fact, I bet of 100 surveys of fans/architects/writers regarding the most beautiful stadiums in the game, Kauffman always ranks ahead of Comiskey.

The first site (http://www.thesportsroadtrip.com/mlbfavorites.html) I checked has the Sox #12 and the Royals #19. What do I win?
:cool:

caulfield12
09-05-2006, 05:42 PM
I guess the fat folks were the majority of locals in their cars blocking the crosswalks away from the Plaza.
:cool:

I obviously spent most of my time away from the yuppies at the Plaza, so most of what I said has nothing to do with those folks. The blocked crosswalks were all over and even the folks ordering burnt ends at the BBQ joints were, on average, pretty damn fit. There's every reason to expect them to be fat, but I didn't see it. Go figure.



I remember, and it shows. The main difference is that the last few years have covered up some of the Kauffman-esque elements of the Cell that many (most?) Sox fans hated, particularly the roof, exposed concrete, and empty blue seats. Meanwhile, here's Kauffman:
http://www.ballparksofbaseball.com/al/kauff901.JPG

http://www.ballparksofbaseball.com/al/kauff903.JPG



The first site (http://www.thesportsroadtrip.com/mlbfavorites.html) I checked has the Sox #12 and the Royals #19. What do I win?
:cool:

I'm talking about the stadium alone....not all the ancillary things that they were trying to measure. Just comparing stadium to stadium.

No way Comerica Park would rank ahead of Camden Yards, 3Com/Pac Bell whatever it's called, Fenway, Wrigley, Yankee Stadium, etc.

maurice
09-05-2006, 06:51 PM
I'm talking about the stadium alone....not all the ancillary things that they were trying to measure. Just comparing stadium to stadium.

Well, they broke down their scores by category . . .
Sox: Arc- 7, Food-8, Scbd-7, Ush-4, Fans-7, Loc-4, Bann-8, Ent-8, Conc-5, Bonus-6 Total: 64
Royals: Arc- 7, Food-7.5, Scbd-5, Ush-3.5, Fans-4.5, Loc-4, Bann-7, Ent-7, Conc-6, Bonus-7 Total: 58.5

Considering only "architecture," "scoreboard," and "concourses" (and eliminating things like "food" and "fans"), the Cell still comes out on top. So . . . what do I win?
:cool:

Significantly, they visited the Cell after the renovations:
Better than others tell it to be....Latest renovations, including reducing
the size of upper deck, have given this stadium a completely new look.

caulfield12
09-05-2006, 06:54 PM
Well, they broke down their scores by category . . .
Sox: Arc- 7, Food-8, Scbd-7, Ush-4, Fans-7, Loc-4, Bann-8, Ent-8, Conc-5, Bonus-6 Total: 64
Royals: Arc- 7, Food-7.5, Scbd-5, Ush-3.5, Fans-4.5, Loc-4, Bann-7, Ent-7, Conc-6, Bonus-7 Total: 58.5

Considering only "architecture," "scoreboard," and "concourses" (and eliminating things like "food" and "fans"), the Cell still comes out on top. So . . . what do I win?
:cool:

Significantly, they visited the Cell after the renovations:

I don't really consider the scoreboard to be 1/3rd of the stadium....seriously. If the Royals bought a new one, would the stadium be better than USCF in the voter's mind?

The Old Comiskey had a very unique, distinctive scoreboard that brings back memories for any who attended games there. The new one is nice, but I don't think it will ever conjure up any memories for me when I'm 60 or 70.

maurice
09-05-2006, 07:06 PM
Now you're just trying to cheat me out of my "prize" for winning the bet.

If we're gonig to quibble, do you really think that the concourses at Kauffman are better than the concourses at the Cell? The Cell has some of the best, wide-open concourses in baseball. Kauffman's are typical of an old minor-league park, like the one occupied by the Columbus Clippers.

The Cell is basically Kauffman with no fountains, a better scoreboard, a better roof, better concourses, a light rail system, more luxury services, and MUCH less exposed concrete (especially on the outside). Kauffman's only advantages are the ever-critical "has fountains" category and expectations: you expect an old stadium in KC to suck and then are pleasantly surprised when it's marginally better than Busch II. After Camden, everybody expected "newer" stadia to look a certain way, and the Cell didn't meet folks' expectations. It's an unfair criticism anyway, since the Cell predates Camden, but we've been putting up with it for 15 years now.

The bottom line is that the Cell >>> Kauffman, under any reasonable measure.

salty99
09-06-2006, 09:27 AM
Who really gives a ****! BTW the Kauffman is getting a $300 million upgrade.