A summer without baseball is like a summer without sunshine. Playing catch in the front yard, going to the batting cages and spending a day watching the Royals at Kauffman Stadium are the focal points of baseball season and summer. Watching the game at home on TV doesn’t compare to being in the stadium and experiencing the atmosphere. But professional sporting events aren’t cheap, and the cash required for the gas to get to Kansas City is a sizable amount.
For those living in Manhattan for the summer, or anywhere in the area, what is the best way to get a sports fix until football season? Manhattan isn’t exactly a sports Mecca over the summer. But some cities in the area offer inexpensive sports entertainment to fill the void left by Michael Beasley and Jordy Nelson.
Surprisingly, Junction City is a hotbed of athletic activity during the dog days of summer. For those who would like to make the road trip to see the powder blue Royals, but don’t have the gas or money, baseball can be found just a few minutes away on I-70. The Junction City Generals started their season on May 5, and play continues until late July. The Generals are a member of the Central Plains Baseball league and play in what was once called “the finest baseball stadium in Kansas.” Rathert Stadium was completed in 1937 as a Works Progress Administration project during the Great Depression, according to the Generals’ Web site. In addition to the regular slate of games, in which tickets are $5, the Generals will welcome fans to a free open practice on May 29.
If baseball doesn’t quench your sports thirst, stay in Junction and check out the Junction City Tigers. The Tigers play in the Central Plains Football League along with seven other teams from Kansas and Missouri. The CPFL is an eight-man football league in which teams play by arena football-like rules, sometimes inside, sometimes out. The Tigers’ games are affordable, so take a date if your significant other enjoys sports; if not, try a man date. Adult tickets are only $4 and a military ID will get you in for $1.
If the CPFL sounds exciting, take a trip east and cheer on the Topeka team, the Savage. The Savage will play the Tigers on May 17, so if you’re still coherent after finals week, visit the Capitol Building and then check out these two teams.
For some, small leagues and small teams just don’t meet the sports standard, and for those people, there are the Kansas Koyotes. The Topeka-based American Professional Football League team plays indoor football at Landon Arena, and the team was undefeated in 2003 and 2004, winning the APFL championship in 2007. The Koyotes started the season in April and will play until sometime in July, depending on playoff performances. Tickets are reasonable, from $10 to $45, according to the team Web site.
So don’t fret if you can’t make it to Kansas City, as there is no shortage of sports in the Manhattan area. Luckily, we won’t have to wait long until more pro sports teams settle the prairie.
Owen Kennedy will hopefully graduate in December, accomplishing his goal of graduating in 2008 – with 2 weeks to spare. Please send comments to email@example.com.