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Kansas City's Riverfront Park Opens For World Series Party

Sam Zeff

Late Sunday afternoon the Port Authority of Kansas City put out a Tweet and a Facebook post. They were going to have a party.

The authority and the Friends of the River KC put up a 26-foot screen, brought in some food trucks and created a brand new place for Royals fans to watch the World Series.

About 1,500 Royals faithful gathered at a park by the Missouri River just north of downtown.

They sat on lawn chairs and bundled up in blankets to watch Game 5 and cheer as the Royals beat the Mets 7-2 in 12 innings. You could hear Fox’s play-by-play man Joe Buck for blocks.

Most watched the whole game at the park but Arooj Nazir from Olathe, Kansas, joined the party after the game went into extra innings. “Oh Lord.  So, we were in Dallas for the weekend celebrating my birthday and we saw the ninth inning on the plane.”

She and her husband rushed to Riverfront Park directly from KCI just in time to join in the celebration after the Royals took the lead for the first time in the game in the twelfth inning.

Reserve infielder Christian Colon, who hadn’t appeared in the post season, put the Royals up 3-2 with a pinch single.

Many in the crowd, including Ahmad Nazir, were asking each other who was Christian Colon? “I didn’t even know he was on the World Series roster," she said. "But now I’m pretty sure he’s going to be a hero in Kansas City."

Credit Sam Zeff / KCUR
Ahmad and Arooj Nazir rushed directly from the airport to Riverfront Park to join the crowd who watched the Royals win the World Series.

The Nazirs say their life-long Royals fans, and after seeing the team tie the game in the bottom of the ninth on their Southwest flight, there was no way they were going home.

“Of course at home it’s just the two of us here there’s everybody. There’s fireworks going on, we’re probably going to go to Power and Light after this. I mean, it’s time to celebrate,” Arooj Nazir said.

“A lot of years of watching them lose and having losing records but, you know, last year we made it to the Series, fell short, but this year we made it happen,” said Ahmad Nazir.

Sam Zeff covers education for KCUR. He's also co-host of KCUR's political podcast Statehouse Blend. Follow him on Twitter @samzeff.

You deserve to know what your taxpayer dollars are paying for and what public officials are doing on your behalf – I’ll work to report on irresponsible government spending in the Kansas City area and shed light on controversies that slow government down. And when you hear my voice in the morning, you know you’re getting everything you need to start your day. Email me at sam@kcur.org, find me on Twitter @samzeff or call me at 816-235-5004.
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