KC Royals announce historic exhibition game ahead of Opening Day

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For every MLB franchise, there are four minor-league affiliates scattered across the country. Today, the KC Royals Double-A affiliate Northwest Arkansas Naturals announced they will host the Royals for an exhibition game on March 25.

The game is only a few days prior to Kansas City kicking off its season, but this is an exciting game for fans near Springdale, Arkansas. This will be the first time Kansas City has played at Arvest Ballpark, the Naturals home since 2008.

The KC Royals are heading south ahead of Opening Day for a special matchup.

“Northwest Arkansas has been such a great partner for 15 years, so we are happy to be able to play this exhibition game in front of their fans,” said Royals general manager J.J. Picollo. “We were disappointed that our game in 2021 was cancelled due to COVID, so we’re even more excited for Naturals fans to have a chance to see so many familiar faces who previously played in Springdale. This will be a great night for our organization.”

Northwest Arkansas has been an integral stop for many future Royals players. According to the Naturals' press release, "101 former Naturals have gone on to make their Major League debut with the [Royals]." Current players such as Salvador Perez, Bobby Witt Jr., and Maikel Garcia all played substantial games in Northwest Arkansas. Also, the future Royals cornerstones learned to win in the minors, with the Naturals winning the Texas League in 2010 and the Double-A Central in 2021.

"We are thrilled to announce that we will be hosting the Kansas City Royals at Arvest Ballpark in 2024," said Naturals general manager Justin Cole. "The Royals have been tremendous partners over the years, and we could not be more excited to welcome our Major League affiliate to Springdale in just over two months."

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Jan. 22. While this is an exhibition game, the Naturals are keeping relatively low prices for the event. Prices range from $16 to $25. Check out their press release or email tickets@nwanaturals.com for more information.