The Kansas City Royals announced they’ll play an exhibition game against their Double-A affiliate, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale next year. It will be the first time that the Royals will play against the Naturals since 2008.
The exhibition game will take place on Monday, March 29. The Royals open the regular season on April 1, against the Texas Rangers at Kauffman Stadium.
The Naturals have been an affiliate of the Royals since relocating from Wichita in 2008.
Prior to their relocation, the Wichita Wranglers served as the Royals’ Double-A affiliate from 1995-2007. Northwest Arkansas has reached the playoffs seven times in 12 seasons, including the Texas League Championship in 2010.
“We have taken a lot of pride over the years to forge exceptionally strong relationships with our minor league affiliates and today we’re excited to announce that we will bring a Major League exhibition game to Springdale,” Royals Vice President/Assistant General Manager-Player Personnel J.J. Picollo said in a release.
The clubs announced a two-year extension of the player development contract in January 2020, an agreement that will keep the Naturals serving as the Double-A affiliate of the Royals through the 2022 season.