Kemper Arena Fate Discussed

Kansas City, Mo., officials are discussing what to do with the city’s 18,000-capacity Kemper Arena now that the American Royal Association will be moving its annual rodeo to the same-sized but shiny-new Sprint Center.

“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,” American Royal Board of Directors chairman David Fowler told KCTV July 13.

Kemper Arena, also managed by AEG, has been home to the rodeo since 1975, so with the event moving out and few other bookings, city officials are said to be considering other options, according to the Kansas City Star.

The facility is reportedly costing the city more to operate than it brings in – $1 million in expenses this year and about $253,000 in revenue last year. Revenues from the Sprint Center reportedly cover Kemper’s costs.

The city is also paying off about $10 million in renovations to the building, the paper said.

Options include looking into different management, converting Kemper to a shed or demolishing the building.