Royals

Royals season-ticket sales jump on heels of World Series title

Fans cheered as Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez rounded the bases after hitting a solo homer in the ALDS at Kauffman Stadium.
Fans cheered as Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez rounded the bases after hitting a solo homer in the ALDS at Kauffman Stadium. jtoyoshiba@kcstar.com

A World Series championship has created more season-ticket business for the Royals.

“We’ve been pretty busy here in the sales and service department since … really the season ended,” said Steve Shiffman, the Royals’ director of sales and service. “We haven’t stopped.”

Shiffman estimated Thursday that 93 percent of the lower-level seats between the foul poles have been sold to season-ticket holders for 2016. That means just a few hundred seats in the lower level would be available for single-game tickets at Kauffman Stadium, which has a capacity of 37,903. The Royals need to reserve some of those tickets for promotions.

“I wish I could build more seats down there,” Shiffman said.

Season-ticket sales, which were more than 12,000 for the 2015 season, should surpass the pre-strike number of 14,000 in 1993. The labor dispute wiped out the end of the 1994 season, including the World Series, and the Royals’ fortunes took a tumble after that.

The number of Royals’ season-ticket holders crashed to a low of 7,400 in 2003. A year ago, the Royals drew a franchise-record 2,708,549 fans to Kauffman Stadium, the 10th-highest attendance in baseball.

Single-game tickets for 2016 will go on sale at Royals.com on Feb. 26. The team box office will open on Feb. 29. Tickets for the opening-night game against the Mets on April 3 won’t be available online or at the box office. Fans have to register online for the opportunity to buy opening-night tickets, and the deadline is March 4. Opening-night tickets are also available through full and half-season ticket plans.

Tickets for the opening-day game against the Mets on April 5, when the Royals will receive their World Series championship rings, will be sold online and at the box office (if available).

Shiffman said that while his office has been swamped, he expects an uptick when the first Royals players report to Surprise, Ariz., on Feb. 18.

“We’ve started the advertising and marketing campaign this week, but the true busy time for us will start once pitchers and catchers report,” he said. “We’re busy now just because we’re back-logged. But most baseball teams, when pitchers and catchers report … everyone starts talking about baseball in their respective communities again.”

The Royals’ World Series title had its good and bad sides for the people selling tickets.

“All that winning and all that celebrating put us behind, but people understand,” Shiffman said.

And now the focus is on the 2016 season.

“Our goal is to really rock this place for opening night with season-ticket holders,” Shiffman said. “Actually, I want to see all 81 games rocking.”

Royals general manager Dayton Moore spoke about the team's off-season and acquiring pitchers Ian Kennedy and Joakim Soria for the 2016 roster.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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