The American Royal Barbecue is an opening event of the historic American Royal and the season finale for the competitive barbecue circuit. Spreading over 20 acres in Kansas City’s Stockyards District, and with 545 teams competing in four meat categories, The Royal is the largest barbecue contest in the world. Combine this with a barbecue-related trade exp, this four-day food festival is truly the World Series of Barbecue®!
Please find helpful information for guests attending the 33rd Annual World Series of Barbecue®. There are a variety of events all weekend long that are family friendly, including Cooking Demos, the Kids' Korral, and live music on the concert stage.
To find more detailed information on the events happening during BBQ weekend, please visit the different event pages listed under 'World Series of Barbecue®'
We welcome guests to the American Royal and would like to remind everyone that this is a barbecue competition. Food will be available to the public for purchase by licensed vendors only. Check out the BBQ Expo & Food Court
to learn more.
Parking is available on a first come, first serve basis. There is a variety of paid parking available in different lots around the American Royal complex.
On Friday and Saturday, free shuttle service is available at the Union Station Parking Garage, George E. Wolf Garage (11th & Oak), and Town Pavilion Garage (13th & Grand). There will be a parking fee set by the lot.
Complimentary shuttles will operate from these sites from 5:00 pm – 2:00 am on Friday, 10:00 am – 2:00 am on Saturday, and will drop off at the west entrance of Kemper Arena. Buses operate every 10 minutes. No shuttle service will be available on Sunday.
Everyone attending the American Royal must have a ticket to enter the American Royal grounds, whether or not you have been invited to a team party. We recommend purchasing tickets in advance through the below links. Tickets are $13 per person in advance, $15.00 at the gate.
There are a variety of food vendors throughout the American Royal. They will be located at near the Entertainment Stage during the following hours: Friday: 9:00 am-11:00 pm, Saturday: 8:00 am-11:00 pm and Sunday: 7:00 am-12:00 pm.
The American Royal World Series of Barbecue® also offers bars for the public in attendance until midnight Friday and Saturday. Cash and credit cards may be used, and the bars will be located throughout the American Royal grounds, including at the North gate entrance on the NE corner of Kemper, across from Main Stage at the west end of Bull Wall, the south end of building after you exit the main hall, and the East side of Royal Offices at the NE corner.
There will be two ATM cash machines located onsite during the BBQ. Additionally, limited vendors and bars will accept credit card transactions.