Ballpark: Baseball in the American City
Done right, downtown baseball stadiums lend cities both financial and aesthetic enrichment (see: Denver, San Francisco, Pittsburgh). It’s an argument you’ll hear increasingly in Kansas City as the Royals’ current Kauffman Stadium lease inches closer to its expiration in 2031.
In a discussion of his book Ballpark: Baseball in the American City, Pulitzer Prize-winning architectural critic Paul Goldberger offers some valuable context. He tracks the evolution of baseball’s tastes in stadium location and design and why they matter. The architecture of ballparks, he says, reflects how we view our cities and the game and how the two relate to each other.
Goldberger, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, favors a natural urban environment and stadiums that blend into their settings, use traditional building materials and respect baseball’s idiosyncrasies—while incorporating modern advancements in concessions, luxury suites, and other amenities. He sits down for a public conversation with Whitney Terrell, an associate professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the author of three novels, and co-host of the Literary Hub podcast Fiction/Non/Fiction.
Co-sponsored by Downtown Council of Kansas City.