I'm not entirely sure what it was, but when I saw photos and videos of the (de)construction at Kaffman Stadium, I actually felt a little ill. This is how I've known The K for as long as I can remember:
The Kauffman Stadium that I've remembered my whole life doesn't look anything like this:
And definitely not like this one:
It feels kind of wrong. By the way, I am excited about the renovations. I kind of want to fast forward time a few seasons to see it when it's all done. It's going to be wonderful. But it's weird to see the images now (which, by the way, are from royals.com) that show it in anything other than its be-crowned glory. I'm young enough that the Crown-and-Jumbotron combo is all I can remember, but I'm old enough that I have boatloads of those memories. It is, quite frankly, uncomfortable for me to see my stadium undergoing changes, no matter how spectacular the end result will be. (It actually reminds me a little bit of the endless road construction all over the state of Nebraska. Our motto with every project is, "This is annoying now, but it will be nice when it's finished!")
Is it appropriate to be this emotionally attached to a stadium? I don't see why not. Kansas City fans should be proud of our stadium: It's beautiful, loved by fans from all over MLB, and is not a stupid cookie-cutter. We may not have 50 flags boasting of pennant and World Series wins, nor more retired numbers than we have room to display, but it's still Our House. And not in the obnoxious, college football sense of the word. No, The K is "Our House" in the sense that we welcome anybody for an afternoon or evening of friendly enjoyment of the game of baseball. The K may not have a welcome mat and a cute little mailbox, but it is a friendly home just like the homes of KC fans all throughout the Midwest.
That much is not likely to change with the renovations. It will simply become a home like your cool, slightly-more-wealthy-than-most-of-us neighbor who was the first to get his paws on a sweet (and massive) hi-def TV. We'll still invite visiting fans over for the opportunity to enjoy a ballgame with us, but with the new scoreboard/video board, we'll all enjoy it in something that's higher definition than real life.
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