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.

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.