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American Royal World Series Of Barbecue Contest Hops State Line For Kansas

Cody Newill
Russell Muehlberger preps some pork for judging at the 2015 World Series of Barbecue, held for the first time outside Arrowhead Stadium.

The American Royal World Series of Barbecue is moving to the Kansas Speedway.

The annual barbecue contest was held last year at the Truman Sports Complex after it outgrew the West Bottoms, its home for 36 years.

Carolyn Wells with the Kansas City Barbecue Society says having enough space to accommodate everyone is the most important consideration.

“Accommodate them, and accommodate them well. Barbecue teams need electricity, they need water, and they need real estate,” Wells says.

The barbecue contest, which last year was at the beginning of October, is being held later so it falls at the end of the competition season for many teams. In a news release, the American Royal said the move was necessary because there was a scheduling conflict — so they landed on Oct. 26-30.

The Chiefs are scheduled to play in Indianapolis that Sunday, but it’s possible the Royals could be in the playoffs again. Major League Baseball hasn’t announced a postseason schedule yet.

Representatives of the American Royal and the Kansas Speedway weren’t available for comment Thursday and referred KCUR to the news release.

Where the American Royal will go in the future has been a subject of debate. In this year’s State of the County address, Unified Government CEO Mark Holland would only say “maybe” about the possibility of the rodeo hopping the state line to Kansas.

Reached by phone, a spokesman for the UG said Wyandotte County was just learning about the plan to move the barbecue contest to the Kansas Speedway.

Elle Moxley is a reporter for KCUR. You can reach her on Twitter @ellemoxley.

Elle Moxley covered education for KCUR.
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