The American Royal in Kansas City means it must be October. This week’s postcard shows the old American Royal building, built in 1921 and opened to the public in 1922.
The card shows the building as it looked upon its opening in the fall of 1922. Built in two parts, the arena building fronted on a viaduct at 23rd (now Avienda de Ceasar Chavez) and Wyoming, with the annex fronting to the north along what is now Gennessee. The description on the back of the card highlights construction details: “The new American Royal building was built of reinforced concrete, brick and tile, practically fireproof, 782 feet long, two stories in height and over six acres of floor area. There were 6,100 permanent seats, arranged amphitheater style around the arena. Seats 10,000 to 12,000 if arena is used.” The estimated cost of the new building was $800,000.
The American Royal event actually began at the end of the nineteenth century as the National Hereford Show, held in a tent in the West Bottoms from Oct. 23 to 28, 1899. The show featured 541 registered Herefords, of which 300 were sold over the course of the three-day show at an average price of $334 each. Estimated attendance that first year was 55,000.