Royals expect best-attended series in a decade this weekend

Kansas City Royals fans cheered during Wednesday’s game.
Kansas City Royals fans cheered during Wednesday’s game. The Kansas City Star

Standing-room only tickets are all that remains this weekend for all three games at Kauffman Stadium between the Royals and Tigers.

Could three be straight sellouts at Kauffman Stadium? When is the last time that happened?

I asked the Royals that question, and the two-part answer: it’s been a long time and that’s tough to quantify*.

*Major League Baseball apparently has no hard-and-fast definition of a sellout. Teams distribute complimentary tickets for players and sponsors, so it can sell out its stadium on consecutive nights but have a different attendance numbers.

Capacity at Kauffman Stadium is 37,903, but prior to renovations in 2009 it was 40,775, so you’re not comparing apples to apples.

But Curt Nelson, the director of the Royals Hall of Fame and the team’s historian, searched the history books to find the number of times the Royals had a crowd of 39,000 or more for each game of a three-game series against one opponent.

The list is small and all against the Yankees:

July 25-27, 1980: 40,039/41,860/40,059

Aug. 15-17, 1986: 40,302/39,426/39,426

July 21-23, 1988: 41,040/40,011/41,377

The series in 1988 was a four-game series and the last game was attended by 38,591 fans, which the Royals say is the highest attendance for a four-game series in team history. The 1980 series is most-attended three-game series.

Nelson said this weekend’s series should have the most fans for a series since 2003 when the Royals played host to the Cardinals. That drew crowds of 40,189, 40,347 and 38,270.

To reach Pete Grathoff, call 816-234-4330 or send email to pgrathoff@kcstar.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/pgrathoff