Baseball fans, the Kansas City Royals are opening the doors for you at Kauffman Stadium this season.
The return of fans to The K after a 2020 season played without them will begin at the Royals’ April 1 home opener against the Texas Rangers. Attendance will be limited to 10,000 fans per game and will be structured around pod-style seating. The team may increase capacity monthly depending on the situation with the coronavirus pandemic at the time.
The club is eager to see fans back in the stands.
“I can’t wait to welcome our fans back to Kauffman Stadium for Opening Day,” said Royals chairman and CEO John Sherman, whose ownership group has not watched a game with a crowd since buying the team in November 2019. “I am grateful for all of the support our fans and partners extended to us during these remarkable times. Our ownership group is excited about this 2021 Royals team. We look forward to a great summer watching the Royals compete on behalf of this great community.”
“Though we were able to return to the field last year, there was a huge component missing and it was felt by all of us with no fans in Kauffman Stadium,” said Dayton Moore, Royals senior vice president/baseball operations and general manager. “We play this game for our fans, and the anticipation of seeing even a percentage of them in the ballpark when 2021 begins makes us wish we could open the season tomorrow.”
Said Royals star Whit Merrifield: “Just playing in front of a few fans right now in spring training has made these games so much more exciting and interesting for all of us. The thought of at least 10,000 fans in Kauffman Stadium on April 1 makes my juices flow already and knowing our fans, they’ll make it sound like the ballpark is packed. We can’t wait to come home and play in front of our fans.”
The Royals have been working with Kansas City health officials and the Jackson County Sports Authority to develop a reopening plan that emphasizes fan safety. The plan calls for a seating capacity of approximately 30% with seats grouped in socially distanced pods.
Tickets for the 13 scheduled April home games will go on sale March 8. Season ticket holders will get first crack, followed by the general public on March 24.
“2020 presented so many challenges, not the least of which was getting baseball back on the field, if even for just 60 games,” said Royals manager Mike Matheny. “Among those challenges was playing the game we all love without having any fans in attendance throughout the entire regular season. Words cannot describe how excited all of us are to be able to open at home on April 1 in front of as many of our blue-clad fans that the protocols will allow. It will be a completely different environment than last year and bring a little more normalcy to our sport and lives.”