Katy Stadium
Chanute, KS

Review by Mike

Set on the far side of public park is a most unique ballpark specimen. Built in 1936 as a WPA project, Katy Stadium was home to Class C minor league teams in the Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri league in the 1930s and 1940s. This rock-solid stone and concrete structure has survived the years, a little worse for wear, but looking like it can make it to the end of this century with a little care.

Katy Stadium, Chanute, KS

The present-day configuration is unusual, with a single, straight grandstand running along the 3rd base line, starting around 3rd base and extending beyond home plate and into the adjacent park. It feels much more like football seating than baseball, but the internet tells me it was used for baseball. Perhaps the field was configured differently at one time.

Katy Stadium, Chanute, KS
Katy Stadium, Chanute, KS

The stand itself features hand-fitted field stones to form all of the support structure, with really nice arches underneath leading to the bathrooms and, presumably concessions. All of these were sealed, perhaps permanently. Fine workmanship went into the construction, and it looks as sound today as the day it was built, if a tad neglected.

Katy Stadium, Chanute, KS
Katy Stadium, Chanute, KS

The seating consists of wide concrete steps on which one would probably want to put seat cushions in order to take in a game of any length. A large tree growing behind the grandstand has begun to invade the seating area, dangling its heavy boughs over the top rows on the very rainy day I visited.

A ticket building stands apart just beyond the end of the main structure. It is built in the same style and is clearly an original structure, but it is likewise sealed, seemingly for good. The field itself is in pretty good condition, although the puddles from the heavy rain made it difficult to look at closely. A ramshackle press box building stands along the 1st base line. A quick peek through the open door revealed that it is been derelict for some time.

Katy Stadium, Chanute, KS
Katy Stadium, Chanute, KS

I don’t know if anyone still uses Katy Stadium, but the grass had been cut, so someone must be putting some effort into it. Perhaps it is being left to slowly sink into the soft, wet Kansas soil, but for now it still stands, a glimpse into another era when things like this were built to last.

Katy Stadium, Chanute, KS
Katy Stadium, Chanute, KS

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2022

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