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The Less Deceived

Focus on the Family. No, not the radio program, channel, empire thing. Instead, its the Royals' latest marketing ploy in the quest for public monies.

I guess Focus on the Billionaire tested too poorly to use.

On Saturday the Royals proclaimed:

KANSAS CITY, MO (March 18, 2006) -- The Kansas City Royals released Saturday a new site development plan for Kauffman Stadium. The new plan provides the first-ever visual of the Royals plans to create a 360-degree entertainment atmosphere at the ballpark, with an abundance of amenities geared toward families, groups and individuals.

"While all areas of the transformed Kauffman Stadium are important to our ability to serve and entertain our fans, the main level concourse, which now fully encircles the field, is the most vital to our improvements," said Royals President Dan Glass. "With a positive vote on April 4, the main concourse will truly be one of, if not the best, in all of baseball."

Well, theres something to be said for proudly celebrating one's incredibly paltry goals I guess. "The Best Main Concourse in Baseball" may not sound impressive now, but after a few years I think we'll all grow to relish our partial ownership in such a title. I hope I have Grandkids one day that I can brag about that concourse to.

The Royals K Renovation Plan, released a mere two weeks before the April 4 tax vote seems interesting enough, although also oddly cluttered.

The new outfield entertainment area will include plazas in both left and right field, with fountains in both areas. The right field plaza will house a restaurant and a banquet facility overlooking the stadium's famous fountains, while the left field plaza will house a Royals Hall of Fame, Kids Zone with interactive game stations and a "Taste of KC" food court. Both outfield plazas will have rooftop party decks where fans can view the game. The two plazas will be connected by an 800-foot long Royals "Main Street," featuring the Royals Walk of Fame, highlighting the Royals proud history.

The outfield plaza will contain a new Royals Pavilion beyond centerfield which will host pre- and post-game family entertainment events, some of which will occur on select Jackson County Days. The Royals have committed to give each household in Jackson County two 50 percent off ticket coupons per year, with the coupons valid for one of six Jackson County Days/Nights at the ballpark each season. The Royals will provide such discounts to Jackson Countians for the full 25-year term of the new lease, with a total value of the coupons, over the term, exceeding $50 million.

Honestly, I hate stuff like this. Nothing like having a "park within a park" to distract one from the bad baseball being played below... that is if you can even see the field from there. And those Jackson County tax days? Hope you like Wednesday night Royals-Tigers games!!!

Yea, having an on-site Royals Hall of Fame is fairly cool, though it'll likely be obscured and overshadowed by the annoying Kids Zone.

Taking a look at some of the pictorial representations of what the Royals want to do, its a mixed bag. Not having or liking children, I don't see the payoff to the miniature baseball field and the Slugger's house or whatever ("complete with family history"? what is that suppoed to be or mean??). Moreover, it isn't clear what the access to these things is going to be, I can't tell if you'll be able to visit the HOF without a game ticket. Ohh well, I guess it doesn't matter.

Sadly, the best proposals seem to be largely consumerist: the plan offers more stores and more food choices as well as a restaurant of some kind. Nothing like paying for the opportunity to buy more stuff. I understand theres a bit of a space issue in the concourses, still, isn't a bit ludicrous to ask the public to pay for your new storefront and its rent? What, are the items being sold going to be sold at, or-below cost? Maybe then it would make sense.

And how about all the horrible new seats behind the fountain and in the upper deck that are being added?

With a little help from us, the K can become a better place to spend our money, complete with worse seating and lots of random amusements behind centerfield. Surely this will be a hit with barely-sentient 3 yr olds who love Slugggger and sallow pre-teens who can't stand to be with their family for more than 20 minutes at a time.