Too much love at Kauffman Stadium led the Royals to cut off marriage proposals

04/01/2014 1:17 AM

04/03/2014 9:37 AM

The story made the rounds on opening day.

Molly Fitzpatrick at Swimmingly, a dating guide, researched how much MLB ballparks charge fans who want to propose at the ballgame. The list notes that only five stadiums don’t allow marriage proposals – and the Royals are one of them.

But it’s not because the Royals don’t appreciate romance.

The team was slammed with so many marriage proposal requests at Kauffman Stadium that it ran out of time and space for them and suspended them halfway through last season.

Fans could pay $500 – which went to Royals Charities – to have their in-stadium proposals shown on the giant CrownVision video board in center field.

But the offer became so popular that “we were just running out of space in the game to have them up there,” says Toby Cook, vice president of community affairs and publicity. “So we just made the decision that we weren’t going to do it anymore.”

Weekend proposals became so popular that the team went to Monday-through-Thursday proposals a couple of years ago, Cook says. But even that didn’t help.

“If it happened a couple of times a year, it’d be one thing,” he says. “But it was starting to happen more and more frequently, so we decided maybe the fairest thing to do is not to do them.”

Fitzpatrick at Swimmingly found that prices of marriage proposals at ballparks range from $39 to $2,500.

“To step up your engagement game, we reached out to all 30 MLB teams to find out the cost of putting a ring (World Series or otherwise) on it at each stadium,” she writes.

“Though all proceeds go to charity, exactly what’s offered in a proposal package varies tremendously from ballpark to ballpark.”

It’s interesting stuff. Some teams – Boston, Cincinnati – offer the services of their mascot. Cleveland lets fans propose on fireworks night.

You’ll have to have big bucks to propose at Dodger Stadium, where the Los Angeles team charges $2,500 to have a proposal broadcast live on the scoreboard.

The second-most expensive place to propose? The Washington Nationals charge $1,500 to have a proposal shown live on the video board.

By comparison, the $38.50 the Pittsburgh Pirates charge to have a will-you-marry-me posted on the PNC Park scoreboard is a real steal.

Oh, and the San Francisco Giants charge $145 to $175 for real people to pop the question on the AT&T Park scoreboard. We suspect Kanye West paid a lot more than that when he proposed there to Kim Kardashian last October with fireworks and a symphony and a huge diamond ring and flying monkeys.

Just kidding about the monkeys.

Their list of teams that don’t allow proposals include the Royals, Mets, Orioles, Angels and Blue Jays.

But that’s not entirely accurate in the case of the Royals. Now that the $500 marriage proposals are no longer offered, there is still a way to pop the question at the K.

Fans can pay $50 to have a Game Day greeting flashed across the outfield video wall in the middle of the third inning, says Cook. Those are typically birthday and anniversary congratulations, but someone could easily pay for a “will you marry me?” message.

And remember that soldier Eddie who surprised his girlfriend at a Royals game about three years ago? Those types of special-event proposals could still happen at the discretion of the team, says Cook.

Broadcasting marriage proposals is always dicey because you just never know what the response will be. “Some people loved them and some people it made uncomfortable,” says Cook.

“We all go through that ‘Oh my God, I hope she says yes.’”

And sometimes, fans would see that flash in a woman’s eyes that said “I can’t believe you’re doing this in front of all these people.”

Cook laughed.

“That was not the impetus for why we stopped doing them,” he said.

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