American Royal barbecue moving to Truman Sports Complex

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(KANSAS CITY, Mo., AP) — The American Royal plans to move its World Series of Barbecue from western Kansas City to more spacious grounds at the Truman Sports Complex beginning with this year’s competition Oct. 1-4, organizers announced Tuesday.

The competition, which draws nearly 50,000 people, has been held in the West Bottoms of Kansas City near Kemper Arena for three decades, but it has outgrown the grounds, American Royal officials said. Last year, 560 teams competed but 40 had to be turned away because of lack of space.
“We’ve enjoyed many great years in the West Bottoms,” John Mitchell Jr, chairman of the American Royal, said in a news release. “However, to continue to enhance the American Royal’s World Series of Barbecue for all competitors and patrons, we must go.”
The livestock show and other American Royal events will continue to be held in the West Bottoms.
The Kansas City Royals and the Chiefs are both scheduled to play away games the weekend of the barbecue completion at the sports complex.
The move also might reduce tensions about what to do with the aging and underused Kemper Arena, which is part of the American Royal complex in the West Bottoms, The Kansas City Star reported (http://bit.ly/1DQNNOd).
The Royal had tried to several years to persuade the city to tear down the arena and allow the Royal to build a much smaller arena for horse shows and other events. But last November, the American Royal dropped those plans, citing a lack of interest from the city, which had expressed concern about its financial responsibility for much of the Royal’s plan. Preservationists also wanted the arena saved.
The city is currently studying other possibilities for Kemper, which has been rarely used since the Sprint Center opened in downtown Kansas City.
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Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com