Sprint Center Breaks Ground

AEG’s Tim Leiweke joined Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Kay Barnes and other officials June 24th for the Sprint Center groundbreaking ceremony.

The $250 million arena, set to open by fall 2007, will seat between 18,000 and 20,000 fans for concerts, professional sports and other events. The project is part of the city’s downtown revitalization.

The venue will be developed and operated by AEG and the city. Officials hope to lure an NHL or NBA team to serve as an anchor tenant at the venue.

Sprint will pay up to $2.5 million per year for naming rights under a 25-year agreement. AEG is providing $50 million in financing, and the National Association of Basketball Coaches – which will base its offices at the venue – is chipping in $10 million. The remainder of the financing will come from tax credits, hotel and car rental license fees, and user fees.

Voters approved a funding measure for the arena last August.

City manager Wayne Cauthen said the design is still being finalized and the budget for the arena could go up, according to the Kansas City Star.

“I feel the citizens of Kansas City deserve a quality facility. If the budget can’t make it a quality facility, it needs to be increased,” he said.