The Royals recently released their promotions schedule, and it should come as no surprise that it’s completely filled–71 of the 81 home games feature some kind of promotion. The Royals have made a habit of having to lure fans to the park with free tchotchkes, discounted tickets, cheap food and other various promotions. Clearly they haven’t been bringing in fans with good baseball, so they have to resort to something.

Honestly, the promotions don’t bother me much. At worst, there is a line at the gate while people wait for their free item. I’m fine with keeping the promotions schedule, it’s the in-game “entertainment” and other distractions which I’d prefer to see thrown overboard. I’m still not convinced there is a single person on the planet who goes to the Royals game because they have mini-golf or a between-innings game show.

As I perused the lengthy promotions schedule, there was one thing that stuck out at me.

“INK Local Music Showcase: Catch a free concert on us. Every Wednesday Student Night will feature live local music prior to the game in the Outfield Experience. And you can satisfy your appetite with a $7 hot dog and beverage special at the Crown Classic concession stand in the Outfield Experience. For details, visit www.royals.com/studentnight.”

I really like this idea. The Royals are an institution in this city, even when they’re not good they are important to the identity we all share. It’s a gathering place for people on summer nights, be they young, old or families. I really like the idea of the Royals helping to showcase what makes Kansas City great. Whether it’s with local restaurants in the concourse, spotlighting great Kansas Citians through the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat and now by showcasing local bands prior to a game. I’m even impressed by some of the bands, the ones that I know are really good. Oh, did I mention you can also get a beer and a hot dog for $7 that night? Win-win.

Going to a baseball game should give people an idea of what that city is all about. For many people, their only taste of Kansas City will be a weekend baseball series. I think it is important that their experience be a Kansas City one, not a corporatized one that attempts to appeal to the lowest common denominator. In some ways this is even more important at Kauffman Stadium since the complex is not near the urban center. It’s very possible that someone can come to see some ball games and never come close to some of the great institutions this city has. So we have to take it to them.

Having local bands, rather than washed up national acts perform at the games is a great step in that direction. I think it’s an inspired idea and there should be more like it.  How about bringing some works from the Kemper Musem of Modern Art out and displaying them in the Hall of Fame or one of the suites for people to peruse? Or better yet, showcase some local artists in conjunction with First Friday. I’d like to hear some of your ideas on what we could do tie in our city with the promotions in the comments.

Here is a schedule of the INK Student Nights and the bands that will be playing.

You can follow Nick Scott on Twitter @brokenbatsingle, on Facebook or reach him via email brokenbatsingle at gmail dot com.