The Kansas City Royals today announced that for the first time in 18 months fans will once again be welcomed back into Kauffman Stadium beginning on Thursday, April 1, when the Royals host the Texas Rangers at 3:10 p.m. to open the 2021 regular season. The initial plan calls for pod-style seating to accommodate 10,000 fans per game, with goals to expand the capacity monthly, as the season progresses, and it is safe to do so.
With this announcement, 2021 will give Chairman/CEO John Sherman and his distinguished group of local owners the first opportunity to welcome Royals fans into ‘The K’ since taking ownership of the ball club in November of 2019.
“I can’t wait to welcome our fans back to Kauffman Stadium for Opening Day”, said John Sherman, Chairman and CEO of the Royals. “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.”
Kauffman Stadium will look different at the outset, as the Royals have been working in concert for months with Kansas City health officials and the Jackson County Sports Authority to ensure fan safety. New protocols and guidelines include beginning the season with a seating capacity of approximately 30%, comprised of socially distanced seating pods. Season ticket members will have priority access beginning the week of March 8th to select their seats for the 13 scheduled home games in April. While season ticket members will have the priority access, the general public will have the option to purchase single-game tickets on March 24th. Future home game on-sale dates to be announced subsequent to Opening Day.
“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.”
“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,” said Whit Merrifield. “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.”