In little yellow cards handed out at parking gates at Kauffman, the Royals are asking people to limit tailgating to grassy areas around the parking lots. In addition, “loitering” is not allowed in the parking lots after the game begins, the card says. Loitering includes tailgating.
Tailgaters tend to take up multiple parking spots when they spread out their grills and tables. With fewer parking spots at the Kauffman this year due to stadium construction, the Royals want people to move to grassy areas, said Toby Cook, vice president of community affairs and publicity. Tailgaters tend to arrive early and take non-reserved spots closest to the stadium.
I don't want to dwell here on the asininity of discouraging one of the few enjoyable aspects of attending a Royals game lo these past 15 years. That's a point to be included in a later post about the Royals organization's general ineptness. Instead, I want to report that I attended the Royals/Cardinals finale this past Sunday, arriving at about 1:00 pm for the 1:10 start. Without a parking pass, I was forced to park in the farthest reaches of the Kauffman Stadium parking lot. And by "farthest reaches," I mean about halfway out into the parking lot beside Arrowhead Stadium. It took me a FULL 7 MINUTES TO WALK TO THE K! I assure you that my outrage grew, step-by-step, as I walked by tailgating group after tailgating group that had flaunted these new rules and had thereby added, by my estimate, as much as 2 FULL MINUTES to my sojourn. By the time I reached the last few stalls before the stadium, my companions were forced to restrain me from strangling the nearest tailgaters with links of their own delicious smoked sausages, or drowning them in their own tubs of ice-cold beer.
When I returned to my vehicle following the (becoming customary) shellacking of Brian Bannister, I found that I was parked further from the K than anyone else. Thus, as it was a capacity crowd, I think I can speak authoritatively when I call on the Royals to take further action to curb this flagrant abuse of their pavement. Clearly, their current steps are insufficient. I don't know when next I'll have a hankerin' to see some good ol'-fashioned sub-.500 Royals baseball, but when I do, I expect my walk to the park to be no more than 5 minutes. And I expect it to be lined by the decapitated heads of tailgaters set on pikes as an example to the other inconsiderates who would increase my exercise just for the sake of their pre-game gastronomic pursuits.