No cardboard cutouts this year: Royals fans will return to Kauffman Stadium in 2021

Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s an American tradition, like many in 2020, that was put on hold because of the pandemic. But this season, baseball is coming back.

Major League Baseball announced they’ll start spring training on time, and when games start, there will be fans in the stands this year.

But the Kansas City Royals organization said they want to make sure they get fans to Kauffman Stadium the right way.

Jeremy Danner is a lifelong Royals fan — win or lose. 

“Not being able to be out there with my son or my wife or my friends has been pretty rough,” Danner said.

Last year, his “flat imposter” got to sit in the stands instead as one of hundreds of fans who purchased cardboard cutouts displayed at the stadium.

“I was visible almost every game. I got shuffled around a little bit, so it was really fun seeing that. What’s funny to me is my cutout was at 30 home games, which is less home games than I was at in 2019,” Danner said.

Mike Swanson, VP of Communications & Broadcasting for the Royals, said they’re ready to play ball.

“I was in conversation with (Whit) Merrifield earlier today, and everybody’s excited. Everybody’s ready to go,” Swanson said.

Baseball will look different this year, and Swanson said they’re working on the plans now.

“We need to have conversation with the city and the county and make sure they’re comfortable with everything we’re doing. Make sure our percentage of seating is appropriate to one of the pandemic stands,” Swanson said.

Danner said he’ll follow any guideline he has to so he can watch his team hit one out of the park.

“I think it’s going to be different, but I think for people who baseball means a lot to them, it’s going to be just this big relief,” Danner said.

While the Royals plan how their pods and guidelines will work to get fans inside, spring training is on their minds. Some fans will even get to make the trek to Arizona to cheer on their team before Opening Day.

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