Sprint Center Price Increase

The anticipated cost of Kansas City, Mo.’s Sprint Center has risen about $30 million above the initial $250 million estimate, causing the city and facility operator AEG to wrangle with overrun costs.

City officials are waiting for Anschutz Entertainment Group negotiations concerning a guaranteed maximum price for the project. AEG is responsible for managing the construction of the Sprint Center and its long-term operation. AEG provided $50 million for the project.

The company, which is being assisted by Icon Venue Group, is responsible for any construction overruns.

“We have not gotten to the point where we’ve signed on the guaranteed maximum price,” Kansas City Manager Wayne Cauthen told the Kansas City Star January 5th. “Icon and AEG need to be comfortable with it and present it to the city. … I hope they get back to us sometime this week.”

AEG spokesman Michael Roth had no comment, saying AEG was still finishing details.

Last November, company prexy Tim Leiweke complained to the paper about high construction bids and accused some subcontractors of being greedy. He said it was project construction manager M.A. Mortenson Co.’s problem to fix.

Cauthen told the Star everything is coming in as projected, and that the voter-approved car rental and hotel bed taxes are enough to cover the extra costs so far.

“No other sources of city money are needed,” Cauthen said, noting that the city doesn’t expect to dip into general revenue sources such as property or sales taxes.

The 18,500-seat Sprint Center’s excavation work has been completed, and the new venue is scheduled to open in fall 2007.

The projected cost of the arena is now between $280 and $290 million, 12 to 16 percent higher than initially budgeted, according to the Star.

Cauthen said there are a number of reasons for the higher cost: “The number of contractors in the marketplace, national conditions with regards to energy and fuel, the affect of Hurricane Katrina … .” He also told the Star he still thinks it’s possible to get the cost closer to the original number of $250 million.