Before They Tear It Down, They Have to Pay For It
October 25, 2011

The city of Kansas City, Missouri still owes million of dollars on the bonds used to remodel the Kemper Arena in the 1990’s.

Around 20 million dollars, according to city budget records. That includes repaying the bonds and the city’s annual maintenace of the arena.

Tuesday, The American Royal, promoter AEG and the Kemper family announced their intention to tear down the nearly 40 year old arena.

They hope to replace it with a much smaller arena and animal area more in scale with the rest of the America Royal operation.

The Kemper arena has been in decline for several years.

That decline accelerated with the Sprint Center opened in downtown Kansas City four years ago.

Now the arena hosts a few events in connection with the Royal. But others, including the America Royal Rodeo this weekend, has been moved to the Sprint Center.

At a news conference, both the Royal and the Kemper family indicated they would support tearing down the structure, which opened in 1976. that same year, the  building and the city played host to the 1976 Republican Natioal Convention. That convention nominated Gerald Ford for President and saw  Ronald reagan make a strong  bid to wrest the nomination from Ford. Ford lost to Jimmy Carter that fall.

Crosby Kemper even indicated he would be willing “to plpay hard ball”, if needed, to get a new building errected.

Late Tuesday, Kansas City Mayor Sly James issued his qualified support for the idea.

While no decision has been made about this city asset, I am excited about the proposal released today and look forward to continuing the discussion,” said Mayor James in a news release.

American Royal Says Royal Will Prosper with Downtown Rodeo. Royal Busy Today with Youth Cattle Show
July 13, 2011

American Royal Director Says Moving the Rodeo Downtown Will Help Event
July 13, 2011

The Executive Director of the American royals says the event will be helped by moving to the Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City.
Bob Petersen thinks ticket sales will be stronger for the October 27-29 event in a different location.
He admitted ticket sales had slowed at the Kemper Arena facility in the City’s West Bottoms. Petersen says moving the rodeo to the newer arena will help.
Petersen says the Sprint Center managers. AEG, will be able to book better concert acts to accompany the rodeo “Concerts drive rodeo sales these says, not the other way around. He says the Royal will continue to hold three other Royal events at Kemper.
Kemper remains a city-owned building. The city is still paying off the 1996 bonds that were issued to remodel Kemper Area.
City Finance Director Randy Landes says the city still owes just over $10 million dollars on the $20 million dollar remodeling project. Landes says the city expects to finish paying off the bonds in 2016.

Breaking News: American Royal Rodeo Leaves Kemper for Sprint Center Downtown
July 13, 2011

The Sprint Center is announcing that the American Royal Rodeo is coming to the downtown area.

For decades the rodeo has been at the heart of the American Royal events and shows at Kemper Arena.

Most of the Royal’s events are conducted in the city’s West Bottoms area.

“The change in venue from Kemper Arena is intended to bring new excitement and greater attendance to this historic event. A principal reason for moving the event to Sprint Center is the opportunity to partner with AEG in bringing top-tier concert entertainment to close-out each evening Rodeo performance,” said David M. Fowler, chairman of the American Royal’s Board of Directors wrote in a Wednesday morning news release.

The rodeo will be at the Sprint Center October 27-29.