I'm excited about this! I mean, it's still a 10 hour drive from KC, but it's doable! Seattle was half a country away and Philly is too. I'm liking this Midwest location!
A midwest location is equally fair to both West and East coast dwellers.
It is about 700 miles from Philly to GR, Kansas City is only 10% closer while Seattle and the other major west coast cities are 3 times further. Miami (also on the East coast), is ~1400 miles from GR. You could easily drive from many East coast cities in a single day. But there comes a point at which you fly rather than drive - Philly is cheaper and easier for me to get to even though it is "East Coast" and GR is closer.
There are a lot of factors that come into play when conference sites are selected - geographical location is a minor consideration when compared to the host hotel, local committee, nearby amenities, ease of access, etc. We could have a conference in the geographical center or population center of the US to make it "fair", but those places are hard to access for many of us and don't have the facilities to host us.