MVPs, Gold Gloves, and a World Series title pepper more than 40 years of Kansas City Royals history, replete with powerful pitches and bat-cracking home runs. The recently renovated Kauffman Stadium treats visitors to a giant high-definition video board, which wears a 40-foot crown and waves a scepter made of massive glow sticks. During breaks in the action, fans can visit concessions stands, play mini golf in the kids? area, or count each of the stadium?s 37,903 seats. Open until the top of the eighth inning, a 7,000-square-foot Hall of Fame guides guests through a maze of memorabilia, including photos of Royals past and future.
With panoramic views of downtown and the St. Louis Gateway Arch looming in the background like a giant croquet wicket, baseball enthusiasts and Cardinals fans can visit sites they don't normally see on game day. During the tour, fans will swing through the Redbird Club—a spacious, closed-in section of the ballpark with some of the best views available—as well as the press box, where the world first learned that Mark McGwire's goatee was actually a toupee. Visitors get to check out other notable spots in the stadium, including the Cardinals dugout, Trinket City, and the secret fifth base. While tours are usually available daily, visitors are strongly encouraged to call ahead.
Though the city's name would seem to suggest otherwise, Independence residents must still—by law—interact with each other occasionally. Luckily, Independence Events Center serves to bring the community together, hosting everything from national concert tours to youth hockey leagues within its walls. Such stars as Kelly Clarkson have graced the stage within the 5,800-seat arena, also home to local sports teams such as the Central Hockey League's Missouri Mavericks and the Major Indoor Soccer League's Missouri Comets. Additionally, a community rink lets residents and nonresidents alike hit the ice for programs ranging from open-skating sessions and lessons to private rentals for Civil War reenactments.
The cyclists of the American Arenacross tour transform crowds into an adrenaline-driven swarm of gasps and cheers with supersonic, gravity-defying competitions. During three-hours of racing, professional riders compete wheel-to-wheel across an arena floor peppered with ceiling-scraping jumps, sharp turns, and obnoxiously long stoplights. Bikers warm up audience applause engines aboard 50cc scramblers before professional riders coast onto the track atop 450cc MX bikes. Mixed in among qualifying and main events, an FMX freestyle jump-off pits high flyers against each other as they perform new tricks and recite cherished haikus more than 60 feet in the air. As an added bonus, Saturday's event includes a complimentary track party from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. for all guests with a ticket.
At The Great American Diving Company, swimmers and scuba enthusiasts plunge into a 10-foot-deep, custom-built training pool heated to a balmy 85 degrees. Under the guidance of PADI-certified instructors, students in Open Water Diver classes learn to breathe and explore beneath the surface, opening the doors to continue underwater education and obtain certification or finally put to rest a fear of really big puddles. Divers can gear up for their next expedition in the shop, and the staff also leads scuba trips to diving locales.
In August of 2009, the five women who founded the St. Chux Derby Chix found themselves on the wrong side of the Missouri river. In search of a local roller derby league to join—but unwilling to drive or quantum leap over to St. Louis—the women decided to start their own league. Through word-of-mouth, the news spread quickly, and soon, female competitors from across the county were signing up. By December, the St. Chux Derby Chix were born. From young professionals and college students to moms with college-aged kids of their own, the Derby Chix roster steadily grew. So much so that they now have enough players to field two teams: the Pack in Black and Helles Belles. Both clubs compete at Matteson Square Garden, where fans of all ages are invited to kick back and watch the fast-paced action.