Sprint Center Design Unveiled

Kansas City, Mo., officials got a look at the final design of the proposed $250 million Sprint Center, which is expected to open by summer 2007.

Described as “a glistening jewel in the revitalization of downtown Kansas City,” the circular, glass-encased structure design was unveiled by the Downtown Arena Design Team at a city council meeting August 18th.

“From the beginning, we’ve based this design in the belief this building should represent Kansas City’s honesty, clarity, vision and the Midwestern values we all cherish,” lead arena designer Brad Schrock said in a statement quoted by the Kansas City Star.

“The manipulation of the glass skin provides a one-of-a-kind events venue that will highlight Kansas City in a unique way.”

After an expensive campaign headed by Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes, the city approved funding for an arena a year ago.

That approval led to fierce competition between an all-star team of local sports architects that banded together to become the DADT, including world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, HOK Sport + Venue + Event, Ellerbe Becket., 360 Architecture and others.

Preliminary designs for the 18,500-seat Sprint Center prompted comparisons to a spaceship and included electronically projected video images through the glass.

Those plans were ultimately scrapped because the elements would have pushed the project some $20 million over budget, according to the Kansas City Business Journal.

The city is partnering with Anschutz Entertainment Group to build the area.