A Royal treat since 1899

Michael Bushnell
Publisher


The roots of today’s American Royal can be traced to 1899 when the fledgling event was referred to as the National Hereford Show. Billed as the first nationwide show for the exposition and sale of purebred cattle, it took place during the month of October in a tent in the West Bottoms.


The American Royal derived its name from an editorial written to a beef industry publication, titled “The Drovers Telegraph,” citing a similar show in Great Britain called “The Royal Show.” The three-day sale drew close to 55,000 people and featured roughly 300 Herefords that were sold at auction for a little over $400 a head.


For several years after that, the annual event took place at a number of venues across Kansas City, including Electric Park and the Convention Hall, and ultimately returned to the Kansas City Stockyards area in a new building constructed at 23rd and Wyoming. Funding for the building came from the Shorthorn and Hereford Breeders Association and the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, who contributed $100,000 to the new structure. Construction commenced in November of 1921 and the building, built in two phases, was ready for the livestock show in the fall of 1922.


According to the description on the back of this postcard published by Max Bernstein of Kansas City, Mo., the American Royal building that stood in the West Bottoms from its first show in the fall of 1922 to its demolition in 1993, was 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 old American Royal building was also home to professional hockey franchises including the Kansas City Blues and the Kansas City Scouts, as well as the Kansas City Kings basketball team prior to the construction of Kemper Arena.


The old Royal building was retired after a 70-year run and was demolished to make way for a new American Royal facility completed on the same site in time for the 1993 Royal event schedule.


Sadly change was not done at the old American Royal, as the annual American Royal BBQ contest that drew over 500 teams annually from all over the world pulled up stakes and moved to the infield of the Kansas Speedway in 2016. The American Royal organization has also secured a 115-acre site near the speedway for the construction of a new $250 million facility near The Legends shopping district, leaving the historic stockyards district after an over 120-year history.

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • Reclaiming West Terrace Park

    February 1st, 2023
    by

    Michael BushnellPublisher West Terrace Park was one of Kansas City’s first parks, originally proposed by landscape architect George Kessler in […]


    Remember This?

    February 1st, 2023
    by

    Dorri PartainContributor Living 20 minutes into the future and tagging Coke drinkers as “Coke-ologists,” Max Headroom was developed as the […]


    Remember This?

    January 25th, 2023
    by

    Dorri PartainContributor Can you do “The Flake?” If you can, you know the “crazy new dance that’s the talk of […]


    Kansas City, a national leader in flour milling

    January 25th, 2023
    by

    Michael BushnellPublisher This week, we feature a promotional postcard for the Southwest Milling Company showing the company’s A and B […]


    Remember This?

    January 18th, 2023
    by

    Dorri PartainContributor Need a chip off the block? Then this ice pick advertising the Kansas City Ice Company will pointedly […]


    Ice Wagons once a staple of daily neighborhood life

    January 18th, 2023
    by

    Michael BushnellPublisher Seventeen carloads of 8-inch ice, direct from the Nemaha River near Lincoln, Nebraska were received in this city […]


    Kansas Statehood dates to First Territorial Capitol

    January 11th, 2023
    by

    Michael BushnellPublisher This week’s Historic postcard is a C.T. American Art Blue-Sky postcard published by E.D. Zellner of Junction City, […]


    Remember This?

    January 11th, 2023
    by

    Dorri PartainContributor On January 16, 1991, President George H.W. Bush announced the attack on military targets in Iraq, and Operation […]


    Remember This?

    January 4th, 2023
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor What’s for lunch? For a wide selection of menu options, head to the International Cafe. For nearly […]


  • Hotel Plaza popular with Railmen of the day

    January 4th, 2023
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher This Linen era postcard published by The Allis Press of Kansas City shows The Plaza Hotel located […]


    Blue Valley Creamery Wants Your Cows!

    December 28th, 2022
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher This week, we offer this advertising postcard from the Blue Valley Creamery Company, spotlighting three of the […]


    Remember This?

    December 28th, 2022
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor How about a free calendar to start off the new year? This handy freebie will help keep […]


    Remember This?

    December 21st, 2022
    by

    Dorri PartainContributor Paper figures that can stand up and be “dressed” in paper clothing are nearly as old as paper […]


    Christmas at the Wornall House

    December 21st, 2022
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher This week’s Historic Postcard is a Chrome era postcard depicting Christmas at the Wornall House. The house […]


    Remember This?

    December 14th, 2022
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Small figures made of wood or clay used for battle strategy were once used by pharaohs and […]


    There’s nothing like a downtown Christmas

    December 14th, 2022
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher This promotional postcard was published by Kansas City-based postcard publisher James Tetirick, located at 619 W. 33rd. […]


    Remember This?

    December 7th, 2022
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor The Industrial Revolution changed how children played by manufacturing game pieces to replace the small bones, stones […]


    Swope Park, Col. Thomas Swope’s gift to Kansas City

    December 7th, 2022
    by

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Swope Park was a donation to the City of Kansas City made by Col. Thomas Swope, […]


  • Northeast Newscast


  • Remember This?

    Remember This?

    November 30th, 2022
    by

  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.