KANSAS CITY -- For the Royals, there will be no waiting for a measurement of their 2010 ability to contend. Step right up, fellas, and start the season against the Detroit Tigers.

The Royals will open next season at home on Monday, April 5, against the Tigers, current strongmen of the American League Central. That will be the first of three games against Detroit. The series, after an open date on April 6, will resume on the following Wednesday and Thursday.

The first homestand will conclude with a weekend series against the Boston Red Sox on April 9-11.

Major League Baseball announced the 2010 schedule on Tuesday. At this point, the schedules are called tentative and no starting times have been announced.

This is the first time the Royals have opened the season at Kauffman Stadium since 2007 against Boston. Detroit last opened here in '06. Last year, the Royals opened in Chicago and in 2008 in Detroit.

Other series of high interest include a four-game visit by the New York Yankees from Thursday on Aug. 12 through Sunday, Aug. 15, and a three-game visit by the St. Louis Cardinals on the weekend of June 25-27.

However, the Royals will not go to St. Louis in a departure from the usual home-and-home rivalry in Missouri. This is the first time since 2005 the Royals will not visit St. Louis. After being contested in one city each year from 1997-2001, the Interleague games have been in both cities every season except 2004-05.

Other National League teams coming to Kansas City this year are the Colorado Rockies on May 21-23 and the Houston Astros on June 15-17. The Royals will visit the Washington Nationals for the first time and also make stops at NL cities Atlanta and Cincinnati.

The Royals, who will be the last team to play the Minnesota Twins in a regular-season game this year at the Metrodome, will be the second team to visit the new Target Field at Minneapolis on April 16-18.

This year's first visit to new Yankee Stadium still awaits the Royals, but next season, they'll be in New York earlier for four games on July 22-25.

The Royals will end the 2010 schedule at home against the Tampa Bay Rays on a weekend, Oct. 1-3.