Kemper Arena–Dimming and Down
June 27, 2012

The Kansas City Star reports the City is making the first moves Wednesday to place Kemper Arena in mothballs.
The arena has been on the back bench for events since the Sprint Center opened in downtown Kansas City in 2007.
The Star reports a City Council Committee will make the first moves toward ending the Kemper’s management contract with Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG). The city will regain full control of the aging and discarded arena.
“We’ll stop all pretense of trying to market it as an alternative events space, and let AEG focus on filling the Sprint Center,” City Manager Troy Schulte said to the Star.
Kemper has hosted just over 50 events in the last three years, not counting the American Royal shows and exhibitions. That’s almost no business at all.
The are costs involved in mothballing Kemper Arena, according to the Star.
It reports the City still has to pay off the remaining six months of AEG’s Kemper Arena management fees listed in the contract. That’s about $216,000, according to the Star.
The utility bills in the Kemper run more than $400,000 a year, according to the report. The city hopes putting Kemper on the shelf can lead to reduced bills.
The Star also reports the City has to come up with a plan to accommodate the American Royal events that are in Kemper each year.
Last year the Royal moved its marquee American Royal Rodeo out of Kemper and into the Sprint Center downtown.
Kemper’s history including hosting the 1976 Republican Convention; hundreds of concerts; the Kansas City Scouts NHL team; the Kansas City Kings of the NBA ;the Kansas City Comets, an early and popular indoor soccer team, and the 1988 NCAA Final Four, which was won by home-town favorite, the University of Kansas.