Inside, of course, the first thing you notice is the new, wider concourse. There are many more concession stands than before, and more bathrooms too. We arrived pretty early for Saturday's game, so even though the crowd was big, it may not have been the best test for the new concourses. I do know that big crowds before could make the interior of the stadium rather claustrophobic, and Saturday night it certainly felt roomier.
Once we got out to the seating bowl, we headed out to the new outfield area. The Royals Hall of Fame is behind the left field seats; unfortunately, it will not open until midseason. Now there are seats behind the bullpen, and of course the new seats in front of the left field fountains. We look forward to sitting there sometime this summer, as it seems probable those seats will be cooled by spray from the fountains. Of course, I imagine most Royals fans are feeling the same about those seats, so I think they'll be a tough ticket.
We proceeded around the outfield. It is now possible to walk all the way around the lower bowl. You can see Royals games from perspectives that were never available before. You can even stand behind the "batter's eye" in center field and look straight up at the massive scoreboard. You can even buy a beer back there! The eye consists of staggered sheets of green metal, so you can peek out between them and see part of the playing field.
We settled into our seats and immediately noticed that the ballpark feels much more intimate than it used to. With a big crowd on hand, there were people all the way around the field. It feels like a real ballpark now, not a theater where there is a large stage in front and you never get to see behind it.
Here's a view from our seats:It's funny, a couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine from college emailed me a panorama view of the stadium he took when we went to a game together in 1996. It was amazing to see how the place used to look, and to compare it to the new stadium.
Here's the 1996 stadium.
And here's how it looks today.
If you have a chance to see the new Kauffman Stadium, I urge you to take it. The old stadium was nice. The new improved one is gorgeous, and I know you'll enjoy it.