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Royals Cancel 2022 FanFest, Fault COVID-19 Pandemic

The 2022 Kansas City Royals FanFest is canceled for the second consecutive year. While the team blames COVID-19, the MLB lockout made the event a long shot in 2022.

The Kansas City Royals' annual FanFest has been canceled, according to the team's official website. The last FanFest took place in January 2020, months before the initial COVID-19 outbreak in the United States.

"At present we do not plan to hold the 2022 Royals Fan Fest originally scheduled to take place in late January at the Convention Center," the Royals' website says. "With continuing public health warnings and unknown restrictions on hotels and events in the future, it’s become clear that planning to host an event of this magnitude in a manner our fans deserve is not practical at this time."

The team further confirmed the update, by responding to a fan on Twitter.

The team did say they "are exploring new and exciting ways to engage virtually or otherwise this off-season" in lieu of the traditional FanFest. 

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The 2020 event allowed fans to meet players, buy merchandise and get excited about the upcoming season. Players such as Whit Merrifield, Adalberto Mondesi, Salvador Perez, Brad Keller and Hunter Dozier were in attendance, as well as former players like Willie Aikens, Mike Boddicker, Mike MacFarlane, and John Mayberry. The 2020 FanFest notably hosted Perez's naturalization ceremony, where the fan-favorite became a U.S. citizen.

Pandemic or not, the current MLB lockout presented another obstacle for the event. Current players are not able to attend team events, such as games, practice, or FanFest, during the lockout. ESPN's MLB insider Jeff Passan recently wrote about the situation and where it currently is or isn't.

Read More: Royals Should Be Hesitant to Drink the Carlos Santana Kool-Aid