Kemper Arena Changes

Kansas City, Mo., officials announced  has secured historic preservation status. This designation will be key to acquiring the funds needed for its redevelopment as an amateur sports facility.   

Photo: AP Photo / Orlin Wagner
The proposed $25 million revamp of Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Mo., may rely on historic tax credits that aren’t available unless the 42-year-old venue is added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Kansas City Councilman Scott Taylor made the announcement at a press conference Sept. 12. The new status of the venue allows for historic tax credits to be used for its upcoming renovation, according to the Kansas City Star. Kemper was put on the Historic Kansas City Foundation’s list of most endangered buildings and many thought it would end up demolished. However, the National Park Service approved its listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014 after deeming it culturally significant.

The city plans to transfer ownership of the building to the Foutch Brothers, owners of a development company, by the end of this year. Renovations of the arena are estimated at $25 million to $30 million and include adding a second floor and “more than doubling the arena’s capacity” for various indoor sports, the Kansas City Star reported. The venue will also be renamed Mosaic Arena under a deal with Mosaic Life Care.

The health care organization will operate a clinic out of the facility that will be open to the public and have sports medicine specialists. Details of the naming rights agreement were not disclosed. Taylor said the project will save Kansas City taxpayers $1 million a year in maintenance for the arena and $10 million in demolition expenses. Construction is expected to take nearly a year with an opening in 2018.