Royals welcome fan No. 2,477,701 for record
KANSAS CITY -- When Dayton Moore arrived as the Royals' general manager in May of 2006, he had a vision of one day winning a World Series title and also of breaking the team's single-season attendance record.
Moore nearly got that World Series title last year, and this year he got the attendance record.
The Royals broke the previous franchise record of 2,477,700 in 1989, when fan No. 2,477,701 entered Kauffman Stadium prior to Wednesday night's 3-2 loss in 12 innings to the Twins. The announced crowd of 32,286 pushed the season total to 2,506,913.
Tony Tucker of Blue Springs, Mo., walked through Gate E a little after 6 p.m. CT, with his wife, Heather, son, Logan and daughter, Paige. They were greeted by Sluggerrr and members of the K-Crew, and received a framed certificate, ticket upgrades for the game and a Royals jersey. The jersey, which was autographed by members of the 2015 Royals team, has the No. 15 on the front and back. Also on the back is the record-breaking number 2,477,701 in place of the name.
When Tucker, 38, and his family got through the gate, they were astonished to see television cameras pointed at them and confetti flying through the air.
"I knew the record was going to be broken tonight and I heard they might do something special for that person who broke it," Tony said. "But I never expected this. This is great."
The whole family, which has been to about 10 games this season, had their seats upgraded to the swanky Crown Club, the stadium's top seats behind home plate.
Logan and Paige unanimously announced, "This is the coolest thing ever!"
Tony and Heather also agreed on something else: "The only thing cooler would be coming back for a World Series game."
For Moore, setting the record had special meaning, considering how low the franchise was when he took over. In 2006, the Royals completed the third of three straight 100-or-more loss seasons, drawing just 1,372,368 fans.
"It's a special accomplishment for our fans, our community, the players and the entire organization," Moore said. "We thought this was something important from Day One to get some energy from our fanbase, which has always been very supportive and passionate. To be able to put a product on the field that they endorse is a special feeling.
"It's something we can all cherish and celebrate together."
Moore has seen a virtual crescendo of support for the Royals build in Kansas City.
"We knew last year that there were a lot of people following our team," Moore said. "We knew the television ratings were up, and there was a buzz around town. We felt that this group of players had an ability to connect to our fans.
"It's important to every team, but it's really important to Midwestern people and to the people of Kansas City to be able to connect like that."