It’s baseball season once again in Kansas City. That means heading out to The K, grabbing a dog, maybe a cold beer and watching the Boys in Blue. Over the past several years, grabbing a ticket has gone from simply driving out and picking one up at the box office, to something you need to give a lot of thought to (as well as open your pocket book.)
The Idiot’s Guide to Royals Tickets
How Much Are Tickets?
The Royals employ what they call “dynamic pricing” so higher profile matchups will have a higher floor for prices. But your cheapest tickets are in the higher sections – what was called the HyVee level. Price Chopper is now the ticketing sponsor, so you can get tickets at any Price Chopper or at the Kauffman Stadium box office. Attendance has been on the rise, obviously, in previous years – but, in general, games during the week and Sundays you shouldn’t have a problem getting a ticket in the nosebleed for $15.
Premium tickets can get pricey the lower you get and the closer to the center. From there, I’d recommend tracking down an app such as StubHub, SeatGeek or Tickets for Less. The Tickets for Less app has exclusive tickets within two hours before first pitch. They’ll be pulled from the other sites prior to the game so if you’re out in the parking lot and wanting a ticket, the box office or Tickets For Less are your only two options.
You could easily pay $50 or more per seat for a weekday game downstairs and upwards of $100+ for the weekend games and especially if there’s a good giveaway.
How Much Is It To Park?
$15 for cars and motorcycles. A little more for an RV or bus. Tailgating is much easier out there than at Chiefs games, but if you really want to spread out, you should consider parking up in Lot D (by the Chiefs Training Facility) where you’ve got a lot of room. There’s no real good mass transit options to the stadium, no bus service. However, you can do Uber or a Taxi with no charge. Here’s the Royals parking policy.
Nearly all tickets now are digital. That means you can download them from one of the ticket apps (such as Tickets for Less) and put them on your phone or show the barcode to your email. If you buy a ticket at the box office, they’ll still print you off a paper ticket, however gone are the days of the cool colorful tickets unless you’re a season ticket holder. For the rest of us, you’re downloading them to your phone and showing it to the usher. The usher will then print you your seat sections to show to the usher.
You can also get tickets at any local Price Chopper or at the Kauffman Stadium box office.
Note: Tickets for Less also has an app on iTunes and Google – it’s pretty rough, but due to be completely updated in early April, 2017. You can always call them or use their website.
Where is the Best Place To Sit?
Kauffman Stadium is pretty special because there really isn’t a bad seat in the house. If you sit up high, you get the full benefit of the Crown Vision scoreboard, the fountains, and the beautiful view of the Denny’s beyond center field. If you do sit in the upper deck and you have the option, sit in the front row of the upper deck. I personally think it’s the best place to see a game short of the Crown Club.
The premier ticket used to be the “Club” Level (300 level) but those seats are now typically only for suite holders. I find those seats not great because the ceiling is low and it’s hard to see the height of fly balls. One benefit of sitting on the 300 level is that you have the option of taking the main elevator up and you could occasionally run into a ballplayer, broadcaster, or front office person, plus, as it is the Suite level, it just makes you feel rich and important.
There are very few bad seats on the lower level. Beware down the right field line when it starts to get hot and especially during day games because you’re staring right into the sun until about 6pm. There are a few seats right behind both foul poles that suck. But all in all, 98% of the seats in the lower level are great. Reminder that last year, they extended the nets to the end of both dugouts for the safety of fans for line drives and flying bats (see the photo above which was taken right behind the dugout last year). It’s kind of annoying for an inning or two, and then you get used to it.
If there are events that are Standing Room Only, you can post up behind the fountains, or the Pepsi Porch. (The Pepsi Porch has been rented out pretty regularly and may not be open to standing room folks.) There are also restaurants and places where people just go to drink and mingle.
One of the unsung spots in the stadium is the Sonic seats right behind left field in front of the fountains. These are often up for special sale and you can occasionally find some deals if you follow the Royals by email. They no longer shoot the fountains over there, so unless it’s windy, you won’t get wet.
If you’ve got the bucks, you can sit in the Diamond Club Seats (the area past the first four rows and the five sections behind home plate. That section has access to the Diamond Club which has shorter lines for concessions, and a full bar. Pro tip if you sit here, buy one soda and they typically offer free refills if you’re a soda drinker. You won’t be as lucky with gin and tonics. It’s a good deal especially when it’s cold. You can get inside. When it’s nicer out, they’ll open all the windows and it’s still covered with air conditioning.
If you’ve REALLY got the bucks or want to splurge, you have to sit once before you die in the Crown Club. It is the first three rows behind home plate and has access to the Crown Club suite. Starting two hours before the game, you’ll take the player elevator down to field level and walk towards home plate. You’ll enter the suite where a full dinner is served before the game. Everything is included with your ticket including alcohol. You also have access to endless bowls of popcorn, ice cream, soda and dessert. It’s not unheard of to see dignitaries like the Mayor, Dayton Moore or George Brett dining along side you or strolling through. And the view from behind the plate during the game is amazing. For a once in a lifetime splurge, you can’t do much better. Just do me a favor and if you sit directly behind home plate, recognize that you are on television for most of the game and don’t look like an idiot.
There is a good website called “A View from my Seat” that gives you photos from most sections of Kauffman. If you ever have a question about what might be a good seat or where you might like to sit, you can always reach out to me.
Where Can I Get the Best Tickets for the Lowest Price?
This is the million dollar question. (Or the hundred dollar question.) If you can’t make it to the stadium box office or a Price Chopper for whatever seats are left after the season ticket holders, then you will probably need to go through an online broker to get your seats. It’s called “secondary market” seats. Sometimes you can find tickets for below face value, but most of the time, you’ll find tickets for face or above because they’re pretty sweet tickets and the Royals promise to win when you are in attendance (maybe).
There are a million secondary ticket brokers out there – the two you’ll hear about most are StubHub, which has a relationship with Major League Baseball, and SeatGeek which lists tickets from all brokers then marks up the prices so you can see them all in one place.
You should strongly consider looking at Tickets for Less either by calling them, going to their website, or using their app. They claim that any ticket you see online – they will sell it for less. That means if you see a ticket in section 132, row G seats 1-2 on Stub Hub for $132/each, then you see it on SeatGeek for $127/each – Tickets for Less will guarantee that they’ll sell it to you for $127 or probably less.
And please, please, please, PLEASE learn about taxes and fees before you hit CHECKOUT whereever you buy your tickets. It’s very common to see a pair of $50 seats on StubHub and when you go to check out they are $122. (Tickets for Less also says that whatever price is on the website is what you will pay. Period.) You can use TfL’s fee calculator to double-check. You really want to be careful about the extra fees. If you’ve ever used Ticketmaster to buy anything, you know how criminal they can get.
Win or lose, going to a Royals game is a rite of summer and incredibly amazing for anyone of any age. Hopefully the boys in blue win, but even if they don’t, going to The K is something you need to do early and often this year.
(Disclaimer, Tickets for Less sent me some information about their low price guarantee in exchange for some Royals tickets. This post was not subject to their approval.)