First Team For Sprint Center

The first sports tenant of the new Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., is the Arena Football League’s The Brigade.

The Brigade will move into the 17,297-seat arena after its lease with 33-year-old Kemper Arena expires this season, according to the Kansas City Star.

"When they awarded the franchise to Kansas City, the [Arena Football League] expressed a desire to ultimately play in the Sprint Center," Brigade executive director Brad Likens told the Star. "Sprint Center will raise the city’s profile as one of the best in the country, which can only benefit the Brigade."

Despite the fact that Sprint Center means higher ticket prices, the Brigade is hoping the new season and the new arena will find more fans in the seats. The team’s second-season attendance hasn’t been so hot.

After six home games, the team is averaging only 11,384 fans of a possible 16,200 seats at Kemper Arena, coming in 14th in attendance of 19 teams. The team did better in its premiere season despite a 3-13 record, placing third in league attendance with an average of 15,234 fans per game, according to the Star.

Front-row season tickets at Sprint Center will cost $1,125 as opposed to $890 at Kemper Arena and end-zone season tickets will increase from $192 to $225. Upper-level seats at $9 per game or $68 for the season at Kemper will remain the same at Sprint Center.

The Brigade will receive profits from season-ticket sales and some from concessions. At Kemper Arena, the team received revenue from season-ticket sales and parking.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Brigade officials said the team will play more than one season at the Sprint Center, according to the Star.

The team and Anschutz Entertainment Group, which will manage the arena for the next 25 years, have expressed interest in hosting the Arena Bowl. The championship game will be played in New Orleans this year and Las Vegas in 2008, but 2009 is still up for grabs.

Because only a handful of dates at the $276 million Sprint Center will be scheduled for arena football, AEG is still seeking an NHL or NBA team after a failed bid for the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins.