We're midway through June and sadly the Kansas City Royals are already out of the American League Central race. Is it any surprise attendance at Kauffman Stadium this season has been lousy?

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Let's face it, most of us didn't think the Royals were going to be a playoff-caliber team. Yet, I'm not sure most of us thought the team would be this bad. The Royals are in the cellar of the AL Central 17 games behind the Minnesota Twins. The only team more out of the running than the Royals, the Oakland A's, who will soon be making tracks for Las Vegas if they can get their act together and secure a new stadium.

The Athletics by the way, also have the worst attendance in Major League Baseball according to Fansided. The A's, between their stadium issues, and ownership that would rather trade talented players instead of paying them, have managed to draw an average of 8,675 fans a game.

The hard truth is many of us Royals fans don't support the team when they're losing. That frustration has grown with new ownership and their expectations that taxpayers fund a new stadium which ownership seems to desire, and which has sort of left fans divided on the issue.

While it's apparent Kauffman Stadium has a fair amount of empty seats when the team goes on a multi-year losing streak, like me, you probably don't think the attendance is that bad. In fact, I didn't really think about it until I went to a game in the fall of 2021 when the parking lots were eerily empty. I chalked it up to a weekday night game after school was back in session and the Royals were long out of the pennant race. Yet I was somewhat shocked at how poor attendance at Royals games has gotten.

I've never considered that the number of tickets sold for Royals games would be worse than 27 other teams including Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay, two teams besides the Athletics that seem to always have attendance issues.

What's Fansided make of all this? The Rays, which started out hot certainly don't seem to be burning up at the box office, and they also point out, a new ballpark was supposed to help attendance in Miami. It hasn't. As for the Royals, they note we have a great ballpark, but the team's play and lousy home record, yeah, makes it hard to watch a game.

I think if John Sherman thinks his new ballpark somewhere else like downtown, or in North Kansas City will solve the team's attendance problems, he's wrong. Oh sure, it'll be a shot in the arm for a year or two. However, assuming he's smart enough to field a winning team to coincide with his new ballpark, once the Royals start fielding lousy teams again, attendance will falter.

Not to mention there will be fans that just won't go to games if they think parking is problematic. Or if they think wherever the new stadium is built isn't safe or a hassle to get to.

No, he needs to field a winning team consistently. He has to have a front office staff fans are confident in. He needs a mix of homegrown talent that excites the fans and he needs to spend some money to bring good players to town. If he does that attendance will improve wherever the team plays. So far I haven't seen that from ownership and I'm not holding my breath that things will improve.

One thing is for sure, wherever the Royals end up playing, parking doesn't seem like it will be a problem anytime soon.

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