World Series Is Like A 'Three Hour Commercial' For Kansas City

Oct 28, 2014

With the Royals in the World Series, Kansas City has been thrust into the national spotlight.
Credit MoDOT / Flickr--CC

Even before the Royals made it to the World Series by sweeping Baltimore, something was happening to how America saw Kansas City.

This summer, The Huffington Post named Kansas City the 'coolest' city in America and the World Series has just made the spotlight brighter.

Kansas City, it seems, has a whole new reputation. It's a hidden gem, the place to visit, the new "it" town.

“Every game that we have is like a three-hour commercial for our home town. People see the stadium rocking, people having a good time,” says Jeff Pinkerton, a senior researcher at the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC).

He tracks economic trends for MARC and says every time a TV network comes back from commercial they show Union Station, downtown and the fountains. All bathed in Royal blue and looking quite inviting.

"We’re having a great time and we’re getting some great publicity and that’s what I think makes this whole thing worth it,” says Pinkerton.

Kansas City is also getting a lot of love from national publications.

"If the country is going to embrace a team in this World Series, generally speaking I think Kansas City is appealing to them because of the underdog roots and it’s a great baseball town and it’s just a town that hasn’t had a winner in a long time," says Richard Deitsch, who covers the media for Sports Illustrated.

Some on social media are calling the Royals "America's Team." Deitsch says that may be overstating the case a bit, but he likes what the World Series is doing for the city.

“There’s no doubt that over the last three or four weeks there’s been more stories coming out of Kansas City, because the national press has descended there," he says. "Generally speaking, those stories have only been positive so I think that can only help the reputation of the city."

Jeff Pinkerton agrees and says he expects that all this positive coverage might sway people who were thinking about a trip to St. Louis or Chicago to come to Kansas City.

He says while putting a figure on the long-term economic impact to the city is difficult he does expect -- based on economic activity in Boston and St. Louis during last year's World Series -- that Kansas City will get at least a $6 million per-game boost from hosting World Series and playoff games.

But, Pinkerton says, some businesses like movie theaters and expensive restaurants might be losing money because people are staying home watching the games or spending money at the ballpark. 

‘There’s winners and losers and people have to take that into account when you’re looking at that economic impact. We’ve really kind of shuffled how we’re spending our dollars,” he says.

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