Kansas City, a Great American Sports City

Max Rieper, Royals Review Editor at the 2014 Royals Wild Card game

With October baseball in full swing we thought now would be the perfect time to show off the sporty side of Kansas City. Let’s be serious, we’re kind of on the Kansas City Royals bandwagon like everyone else. But in our defense, the last time they were relevant Bo Jackson wore a baby blue uniform.

To get the local sports fan perspective, we reached out to Royals Review editor, Max Rieper to learn about Royals fan traditions and other must-dos when you visit this Amtrak Served Community.

Why is Kansas City a great sports city?
Kansas Citians are tremendously loyal people. How else can you explain fans sticking with the Chiefs after 20 years without a playoff win, or the Royals after 29 years without a playoff appearance? Even though there have been a lot of lean years, it makes it all the more rewarding when they win.

It’s pretty obvious that the Royals bandwagon is getting crowded. Help out the newbies, what are some Royals fan traditions they should know about?
Kansas City sports fans love to tailgate. Walk through the parking lot and you’ll experience a wonderful blend of aromas from various meats being grilled. And since Kansas City is known for being one of the barbecue capitals of the world, you’re going to run into quite a few expert pit-masters.

If you can’t scoop a ticket to the game but want to feel the Royals postseason energy, what are some great spots to watch the game? The Power and Light District downtown is a fun entertainment district featuring numerous bars and restaurants to catch a game. It also has a covered plaza area where fans gather to watch Royals games. Kelly’s Westport Inn is also one of the city’s oldest and most well-known bars where Royals fans can be found.

Who has the louder KC crowd, Kauffman Stadium postseason game or a regular season game at Arrowhead?
I have been to several loud Chiefs games at Arrowhead Stadium, and they now own the Guinness World Record for loudest stadium, but I have never been to a sporting event as loud as Kauffman Stadium was when Salvador Perez had his game-winning hit in the Wild Card game. I think my ears are still ringing.

Kansas City Union Station

For first time KC visitors, what are some must see sights outside of Kauffman Stadium?
Kansas City has a rich sports history, so a must-see is the Negro League Baseball Museum. The College Basketball Hall of Fame, located in the College Basketball Experience downtown is also a terrific interactive experience perfectly-suited for children.

Our Amtrak riders are admitted foodies. As a KC local, what are a couple of dishes every visitor should try?
Kansas City is known for its barbecue, so you have to start with the burnt ends at Arthur Bryant’s then hit up Oklahoma Joe’s, it consistently makes top national rankings for their barbecue, and their Z-Man brisket sandwich is a local treasure.

Back to baseball, in your expert opinion are the Royals going to #TakeTheCrown?
The Royals have had enough weird and wonderful things to happen this year to get me to believe they must be some sort of team of destiny. I never thought I would write these words, but yes, I believe the Royals are going to win it all this year.

Have you ever taken Amtrak to a Kansas City sporting event? Let us know in the comment section below.