Love it or hate it, the song Friends in Low Places has become a sixth inning Royals tradition that may be going away.
Visitors and fans might still have friends in low places at Kauffman Stadium this summer, but they won't necessarily be singing the Garth Brooks classic every game.
The tradition started in 2008. In the middle of the sixth inning Garth Brooks pops up on the JumboTron and leads the crowd through Friends in Low Places.
"I think it is great, Garth is a great singer, the song just fits. People grab a beer, they're enjoying the ball game. I say keep the song," said Chyrl Madsen.
Fans like Madsen and her daughter April think the tradition has caught on at The K. But Royals spokesman Toby Cook and the team want you to decide if it should stay or go.
"We'd played it for several years. We wanted to give fans a chance to see if they wanted a different song in the sixth," Cook said.
Cook said during the offseason fans nominated a songs through social media. When the season starts the 32 best suggestions will be put in a bracket and two songs will go head-to-head at each home game, beginning with the home opener on Friday, April 4. The fans in the stands get to choose which song moves on by texting their vote.
The contest runs through Saturday, June 7 and after a champion is crowned, it'll stick for the rest of the season.
"We expect to get a lot of feedback. People have opinions on music and the type of entertainment we have at the ballpark. Everyone has their favorite," Cook said. "I happen to think of Ring of Fire after the seventh inning stretch, but no one listened to me because everyone has their favorite song, so we'll let the fans decide."
As long as someone nominates it, Friends in Low Places will be part of the contest. Most of the fans KCTV5 spoke with Friday say that's a good thing.
"It's definitely a tradition at this point. I know some people look at it like Friends in Low Places because the Royals are at the bottom. But we're making a comeback now, let's hold onto our roots and enjoy the tradition," Nate Chastain said. "There's not a lot of good songs that everyone knows. It's just hick enough for Kansas City. It's an anthem."
None of the people KCTV5 interviewed for this story wanted to sing the song.
The two songs for each particular game, as well as instructions on how to vote, will be announced during pregame.
Fans must be in the ballpark to vote and will be limited to one vote per game. The winning song for each game will be played in the middle of the sixth inning and will advance to the next round until the winning song is revealed on June 7.
Fans can also follow the progress at royals.com/playitforward
PLAY IT FORWARD FIRST ROUND CONTEST MATCHUPS
Friday, April 4 – 3:10 p.m. vs. Chicago White Sox
All Star by Smash Mouth vs. Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
Saturday, April 5 – 1:10 p.m. vs. Chicago White Sox
Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison vs. Burning Love by Elvis Presley
Sunday, April 6 – 1:10 p.m. vs. Chicago White Sox
Centerfield by John Fogerty vs. Dancing Queen by ABBA
Monday, April 7 – 7:10 p.m. vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Don't Stop Believin' by Journey vs. Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks
Tuesday, April 8 – 7:10 p.m. vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Get Down Tonight by KC and the Sunshine Band vs. I Feel Fine by The Beatles
Wednesday, April 9 – 1:10 p.m. vs. Tampa Bay Rays
I Gotta Feeling by The Black Eyed Peas vs. I Want You to Want Me by Cheap Trick
Friday, April 18 – 7:10 p.m. vs. Minnesota Twins
I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor vs. Kansas City by The Beatles
Saturday, April 19 – 1:10 p.m. vs. Minnesota Twins
Kansas City by Fats Domino vs. Livin' on a Prayer by Bon Jovi
Sunday, April 20 – 1:10 p.m. vs. Minnesota Twins
Louie, Louie by The Kingsmen vs. Minnie the Moocher by Cab Calloway
Tuesday, April 29 – 7:10 p.m. vs. Toronto Blue Jays
My Girl by The Temptations vs. Old Time Rock & Roll by Bob Seger
Wednesday, April 30 – 7:10 p.m. vs. Toronto Blue Jays
R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. by John Mellencamp vs. Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash
Thursday, May 1 – 7:10 p.m. vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Rock and Roll All Nite by KISS vs. Small Town by John Mellencamp
Friday, May 2 – 7:10 p.m. vs. Detroit Tigers
Summer of ‘69 by Bryan Adams vs. Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond
Saturday, May 3 – 6:10 p.m. vs. Detroit Tigers
Twist and Shout by The Beatles vs. Walk of Life by Dire Straits
Sunday, May 4 – 1:10 p.m. vs. Detroit Tigers
We Will Rock You by Queen vs. I Won't Back Down by Tom Petty
Tuesday, May 13 – 7:10 p.m. vs. Colorado Rockies
You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift vs. 1999 by Prince
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