If you sniff the February air, you can almost smell baseball coming: pitchers and catchers report to sprint training, the last free agent signings and trades occur, and some overexcited food vendors start concocting bizarre new food items to sell for exorbitant amounts of money.
February also means baseball tickets—for the Kansas City Royals! That also means that people will buy tickets, as there is, unfortunately, no Great Scavenger Hunt for tickets to see baseball games and they must therefore be purchased.
Online, I write dumb words about the Royals. Offline, my job is at a box office, where I work with all manner and kinds of ticket situations. I would therefore like to present to you the Royals Review Ticket Guide for the 2017 season, written by a box office professional. Enjoy.
To start, let’s take a look at Kauffman Stadium itself. Kauffman Stadium was named after original Royals owner Ewing Kauffman, whose namesake also appears on such Kansas City icons as the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman School, and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Kauffman Stadium is, believe it or not, the sixth-oldest active Major League Baseball stadium with its 1973 open date, and is one of only nine stadiums without corporate naming.
The stadium is symmetrical, with three infield levels and seating in the outfield sans a balcony. Here’s the diagram:
Kauffman Stadium is very open, with great views everywhere. If you have a question about specific seating, ask in the comments, and you’ll be sure to get lots of answers.
The Truman Sports Complex is east of downtown Kansas City just south of I-70. There is very limited public transport there, so the easiest way to get there by far is by driving and parking.
Parking, which for 2016 costed $12 for cars, $17 for oversized vehicles, and $20 for RVs/buses/empty tractor-trailers, can either be pre-purchased with the purchase of tickets or on the day of the game. Day of parking is cash only.
The lot looks somewhat like this:
I say ‘somewhat’ because the current diagram (on this page) is tiny and therefore not particularly helpful. Essentially, there are three levels of parking: general parking, for those with single tickets, is the furthest from the stadium. Reserved parking, for those with season tickets, is set in lots closer to the stadium. The best parking, listed above as Gold Reserved or currently referred to as Premium, is for season ticket holders with premium seat locations. That’s going to be Lot M, the center lot between Kauffman and Arrowhead stadiums.
The Royals currently sell multiple packages of tickets. These tickets are sizably discounted and come with additional perks like reserved parking and, depending on the package, first opportunity for postseason ticket purchase should the opportunity arrive.
The price points are below, and you can match the prices to the above map of the stadium:
There are 81 home games in a given season. The full plan gets you, you guessed it, all 81 games. From there, packages are split into groups with different games. The half plan gets you 41 games, and the 20-game plan gets you 28 games (SIKE; it actually just gets you 20 games, JUST LIKE YOU EXPECTED). There are two versions of the half game and four versions of the 20 game plans. You can choose which version of the package you get, but you can’t mix and match games that you want.
If you don’t have $21K to drop on a full season worth of Crown Club seats (or even a $500 plan for 20 games, which is still a lot), you can purchase a Pick 10 Pack. Again, being the smart and attentive reader you are, you can surmise that this is, yes, a package with ten games.
This plan offers the most flexibility by far. There are 64 home games available in this pack, and each one is split into one of five groups. Marquee games are the most expensive and include a collection of the season’s Saturday games. On the other side are Value games, which include such riveting matchups like the Thursday, August 24th afternoon game against the Colorado Rockies and the Wednesday, May 3rd evening game against the Chicago White Sox. All you have to do is pick ten games you like at the location and day you want to go and you’re golden.
If you’re reading, you probably don’t already have a season package, and renewals for those are slightly different than new packages. If you’re interested in purchasing a season package, visit http://m.mlb.com/royals/tickets/info/season-ticket-deposits, where a A $250 deposit per package is required. Otherwise, call 1-800-6ROYALS (676-9257) or stop by their box office, located by Gate C and open from 9am to 5pm.
Most of us purchase tickets on a game-by-game basis, and those are called single tickets (even if you purchase tickets to multiple games in an order). The Royals single tickets go on sale February 24th online and in person and over the phone on February 27th.
Note: single tickets for opening day will not go on sale then. Closer to that date, an announcement will be made on royals.com on how to purchase tickets.
Single tickets can be purchased online, over the phone, or in person at either the Kauffman Stadium box office or Kansas City area Price Choppers. To save the most on single tickets, purchase them at the Kauffman Stadium box office, where you avoid the service and delivery fees levied online, over the phone, and at Price Chopper.
Single tickets are also subject to dynamic pricing. Basically, the Royals maintain the right to modify prices at any time. Not all games are equally exciting, of course, and not all days of the week are equally profitable—it’s supply and demand at work. You’ll see the difference in prices between prime Saturday games and random Wednesday afternoon games from the very beginning of sales. But be aware that official prices can and do change as games gain significance and as tickets for prime matches get closer to selling out. My tip: always be early. You’ll never see prices for a game dip below their first listed price, so the prices you see in February are the lowest they will ever be.
Third Party Tickets
The only way to purchase official tickets is through the Kauffman Stadium box office in person, over the phone, at royals.com, or at Price Chopper. Every other way of purchasing tickets involves purchasing from a third party vendor.
Third party vendors re-sell seats that were purchased through the official channels listed in the previous paragraph. Stubhub is probably the most well-known one, and is even the “Official Fan to Fan Ticket Marketplace of royals.com,” according to the Royals website. Another one that you hear a lot is Ticketsforless. Both websites are legitimate operations with good reputations and customer service options should any problems arise.
Unfortunately, legitimacy for ticket re-sellers can be all over the map. You’ll often see random dudes hawking tickets in the parking lot, and great deals for tickets can sometimes be found at Craigslist. The Royals cannot guarantee the legitimacy of tickets sold through these sellers. People photoshopping tickets so they look legit until they are scanned is a thing that does happen.
There are three things to keep in mind for third party tickets. One; the rules of pricing are the Wild West: ticket prices can range from below face value to ridiculous multiples of face value. Do some research and continually watch prices on your platform of choice to get the best deal. Two; fees are going to exist, they are going to be high, and you will not like them. Fees through official channels are modest, which is not the case for re-sellers, who are there to make money off you and have no obligation to the product. Three; stick to reputable sources if possible.
Thus ends the guide for tickets. This guide will be updated with more information as more information on tickets is released.
Please comment if you have any tips or questions.