The Kansas City Royals home opener is Monday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium. Besides being the first Royals home game of the 2017 season, it’s also the first of the pregame concerts that are part of the Royals Local Music Showcase.
Before Monday’s game, two bands will perform on two stages. Chris Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7 will deliver a set of groovy soul/jazz numbers at the Price Chopper Stage, and the Zeros will perform an array of 1980s hits at the Outfield Experience Stage. Both performances start at 1 p.m.
This will be the seventh consecutive year that Kansas City and Lawrence bands have performed for Student Night at the K, which offers $10 tickets for students with a school ID. There is also a Wednesday happy hour special: a hot dog and a drink for $8.
The series, presented by Ink magazine, was a natural addition to the night, said Brad Zollars, senior director of advertising and marketing for the Royals.
“Music has always been close to my heart,” said Zollars, who started working for the Royals in 2010. “And I think Kansas City has a music scene that is underrated and underappreciated outside this area. So it was something I wanted to bring to the stadium. It wasn’t about selling tickets, it was about adding to the entertainment aspect. And music felt like a natural tie-in with Student Night.”
The showcases also give bands a chance to perform before different crowds, Zollars said.
“This allows them to bring their families and friends that don’t get a chance to see them” at late-night concerts, he said. “It also gives them a chance to play for people who otherwise probably wouldn’t get a chance to listen to them.”
Zollars has appreciated the mix of music Ink has provided.
“The reaction from fans has been really positive: You’ll see people of all ages dancing along to songs, and that’s fun, especially when it’s little kids dancing.”
Zollars said the series is a way for the Royals to integrate the franchise with other components of Kansas City’s arts and entertainment culture.
“We use this as kind of a platform for showing off other components of the culture. We also have an arts day at the K, and we try to partner with local businesses around the area that are thriving to show what Kansas City is all about.”
The series has been a success in more ways than one. Chris Hagharian of Ink magazine has kept statistics on the showcase:
▪ The Royals have won 69 percent of their games that have featured live, pregame music (66 out of 96 games, including postseason games), a percentage that would translate to 111 wins, away and at home, over the entire season.
▪ Seven of those wins have been against the Minnesota Twins, the most against any team.
▪ The band Not a Planet has the highest winning percentage: 78 percent.
▪ Bands with animals in their names have a winning percentage of 71 percent.
In the weeks after opening day, 12 bands will perform on Wednesdays at the K, starting with the April 12 game with the Oakland A’s. Set times are 6 p.m. Day-game starting times are at noon. Bands play 55 minute sets. Here’s the season schedule:
April 12, vs. Oakland: Making Movies
April 19, vs. San Francisco: The MGDs
May 3, vs. Chicago White Sox: Katy Guillen & the Girls
May 17, vs. N.Y. Yankees: Me Like Bees
May 31, vs. Detroit: the Grand Marquis
June 7, vs. Houston: Not a Planet
June 21, vs. Boston: Rachel Mallin and the Wild Type
July 19, vs. Detroit: Run With It
Aug. 23, vs. Colorado: The Phantastics
Aug. 30, vs. Tampa Bay: Jessica Paige
Sept. 13, vs. Chicago White Sox: The Stolen Winnabagos
Sept. 27, vs. Detroit: Yes You Are