By Lysa Allman-Baldwin
By Lysa Allman-Baldwin
For a grid iron experience like none other, Arrowhead Stadium is the place. The stadium is known for its historic Kansas City Chiefs franchise, as one of the loudest football stadiums in the country and for its unparalleled tailgate parties. Kansas City is consistently voted the “Top Tailgating City in the U.S.” and for good reason. No matter the weather, hundreds of fans show up several hours before kickoff to grill, smoke, fry and enjoy everything this former cowtown has to offer. Whether its ribs, steaks, burgers, wings, brisket, chili, bacon or brats: you name it … and the savory aromas hover over the 26,000-vehicle parking lot much like smog does other cities. Tailgating here goes far beyond football into a one-of-a-kind cultural experience, and has been described as a must-do on your Kansas City “bucket list.”
Kauffman Stadium is one of the finest ballparks in America and home of the Kansas City Royals. During the season, the stadium offers great baseball and exhilarating fan experiences with cool amenities and the latest technology. Visit the Royals Hall of Fame, billed as “an education and entertainment venue that blends the timelessness of a museum with the sheer fun of the ballpark,” dine in a right-field sports bar while taking in a Fox Sports pregame show, or watch your “wee slugger” strut their stuff at the "Little K" batting practice area. This is just the beginning of the Kauffman Stadium experience.
The newest and one of the most impressive sporting venues in Kansas City is Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. Opened in June 2011, this $200 million state-of-the-art soccer stadium is the home of Sporting Kansas City, the reigning U.S. Open Cup Champions. Recognized as the most technologically advanced soccer stadium in the country, Sporting Park encompasses 18,467 soccer seats and 25,000 for concerts, a dramatic canopy covering every seating section, more than 330 high definition TVs, a glass partitioned media room where fans can enjoy postgame player interviews, and 150-plus WiFi access points for mobile and handheld devices so fans can order food and beverages for delivery to their seats.
See? Year-round, Kansas City has a sports groove to fit every fan’s needs and desires.
Before basketball was a national obsession it was a true Heart of America treasure and Kansas City has always been the ultimate cloud in college hoops heaven. The city’s history, passion and venues are perfect compliments to the annual basketball frenzy. And it’s hard not to brag. Kansas City has, after all, hosts more college basketball games during the month of March than anywhere else in America. Every year, thousands of fans flock here to enjoy tournaments from the likes of the Big 12 Conference, the MIAA, the NAIA and the CBE Classic. Venues for the big games include historic Municipal Auditorium and the new $276 million Sprint Center. Be sure to check out the College Basketball Experience. Featuring 41,500 square feet of “basketball exuberance,” the CBE is chocked full of activity stations for virtually every hoops skill of the game, plus outstanding state-of-the-art interactive displays, an ESPNU desk complete with camera and teleprompter, and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. The hall extols the illustrious careers of the world’s greatest players and coaches in several awe-inspiring galleries.
Denizens and visitors alike love the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum located in the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District, the center for black culture and life in Kansas City from the late 1800s-1960s. It was here that the Negro National League was founded in 1920 with stars like LeRoy "Satchel" Paige, Jackie Robinson, John "Buck" O'Neil, Willie Mays and many others. The museum is fun, educational and inspiring with interactive features that detail the history of the legendary Kansas City Monarchs and the league through historic timelines, artifacts, lifestyle exhibits and themed galleries. The museum centerpiece is the Coors Field of Legends where visitors can walk among life-sized bronze sculptures of Negro League players.
Minor League Baseball is also popular in Kansas City. Just a few miles from downtown in Kansas City, Kan., the Kansas City T-Bones light up the diamond at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. Every spot in this boutique 4,800-seat stadium offers spectacular views of the field, concourses, concessions (including a kids’ size counter with $1 dogs, popcorn and drinks) and a kids’ play area. Fans can also stand right outside the bullpen along the elevated walkway by the left field line to watch their favorite players warm up.