KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Leaders for the American Royal and Arrowhead Stadium announced Tuesday that the American Royal BBQ is moving to Arrowhead Stadium.
Chiefs President Mark Donovan and American Royal Chairman John Mitchell say the move has been in the works for about six months.
The BBQ began 36 years ago in the parking lot of the Golden Ox Restaurant. The competition has grown each year and draws more than 70,000 patrons and competitors from all over the world.
Last year the American Royal turned away more than 40 teams that wanted to compete because they ran out of space. Mitchell says at the new location teams will not be turned away.
“You have an iconic place in the Truman Sports Complex and Arrowhead Stadium. You have an iconic event and the marriage of those two; that match, is a match made in BBQ heaven,” they said at the Tuesday news conference.
Arrowhead has space for event enhancement and for patron parking, they noted.
“We have abundant space here at Arrowhead Stadium,” Mitchell said. “We will use two of the full parking lots for our competition at its current size which leaves us four lots for parking. And additional lots to grow the events in the future. We’ll have new amenities, concerts and family fun events. It’s going to be really exciting.”
Mitchell assured American Royal BBQ fans that they are working hard to maintain the character of the event.
“We will maintain the integrity of our competition and support our competitors above all. We will also ensure the event maintains the quirky, intimate feel that we all love about the West Bottoms space. We have lots of fun plans in the works that we think you’re going to love,” said Mitchell in a news release.
The American Royal BBQ is October 1–3.
There was no word on the future of Kemper Arena.