Many teams played at Municipal Stadium

Michael Bushnell
Northeast News

Located at 22nd and Brooklyn, Municipal Stadium was the home to many professional sports teams long before the Harry S. Truman Sports Complex was completed in 1972.

Kansas City’s Municipal Stadium opened July 3, 1923, as Muehlebach Field and was home to the Kansas City Blues and the Negro National League Kansas City Monarchs.

The Monarchs were the longest-lasting team in the Negro Leagues, fielding teams annually from their inception in 1920 through the 1955 season.

The team moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan until the league folded in 1965.
The team was owned by businessman J. L. Wilkinson and was a charter member of the Negro National Leagues. 

They were also the only team to carry a portable lighting system with them from field to field, allowing them to play games at night, years before any other major league team added lighting to their ball yards.

The Monarchs were a top-caliber team, winning league titles in 1923, 24, 25, 29, 37, 39, 41, 42, 46, 53 and 1957, and claiming Negro World Series Titles in 1924 and 1942.  

Blues Stadium was later renamed Ruppert Stadium, then ultimately Municipal Stadium after the Athletics moved to Kansas City in 1954 from Philadelphia.

It was during that era that the upper deck was added, increasing the seating capacity to roughly 34,000.

Sadly, Municipal Stadium went the way of many other vintage ball yards such as Ebbets Field, Tiger Stadium, and Comiskey Park.

It was razed in the early 1970s following the construction of the Truman Sports Complex on Blue Ridge Cutoff.

For a time, it was the site of a community garden plot. 

Even that has been bulldozed and new homes now exist on the site where the Kansas City Chiefs, professional soccer franchise The Kansas City Spurs, and baseball teams that included the Blues, Monarchs, A’s and Royals once called home.  

On Christmas Day, 1971 the Chiefs played the longest game in NFL history, losing to the Miami Dolphins 27-24 when Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian kicked a field goal with 7:20 left in the double-overtime session. 

The game lasted 82 minutes and 40 seconds an NFL record that stands to this day.

On October 4, 2019, a permanent memorial was erected at the corner of 22nd Street and Brooklyn Avenue, partially-funded by the Kansas City Chiefs and the National Football League, paying homage to the stadium’s heritage and the teams and players that played there.

Shown here on a Real Photo Postcard during the stadium’s grand opening ceremonies, only the lower level of seats existed.

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