K.C. considers spending $40m on new arena to replace old arena that was already replaced by new arena

What do you get for a city that just built a new arena and has no major-league sports team to play it? How about another new arena with no team to play in it, to replace the old arena that’s sat empty since the new one opened?

New plans may be in the works for the 40-year-old Kemper Arena. Since Crosby Kemper Jr.’s death last week, many have wondered what will happen to his namesake. On Wednesday, his youngest son, Mariner, told 41 Action News he may be close to an agreement…

The agreement could involve tearing the old one down to make way for a $40 or $50 million site dedicated mostly to equine and agricultural events. A report commissioned by the American Royal said a new arena could have a $75 million economic impact…

Mariner Kemper said he has raised 80 percent of the $10 million of private money. The majority of dollars would have to come from the city. However, the city is broke and is still paying off Kemper Arena’s bonds.
Some city council members said the only way they see the possibility of a new Kemper Arena is asking the public to pitch in.

P.T. Barnum had it right. Or David Hannum. Whoever it was.

7 comments on “K.C. considers spending $40m on new arena to replace old arena that was already replaced by new arena

  1. The idea that a parent could name their kid “Mariner” is a tiny bit worrisome, as well.

  2. I think this is less of a traditional arena but more like a stockyard showcase for the Royal. They’ve been wanting to expand their facilities down there for a while.

  3. They’re still paying off Kemper Arena bonds?

    I think this entry was already surreal enough without that information.

  4. I don’t quite understand the logic of this 2011 article about tearing down the Kemper arena to build a new one.

    The deal already in place will cost $60 million over a 35 year term – sunk cost… presuming they have to keep the place open for events and such.
    If they were to tear it down now, they’d owe $10 million ?

    So, why not just replace it for $40-30 million now because that’s the most money for the shiniest arena for dirt-based events ?

    The proposal to destroy Kemper Arena comes five years before a $23 million bond issuance to renovate the arena and the American Royal Center is due to expire.

    Kansas City, which pays close to $1 million annually in direct subsidies to Kemper Arena and about $2 million a year in debt service for the garage and other improvements, would be stuck paying for the remaining $10 million on the bond issuance.

  5. @ChefJoe – the $40 mil to build the new place would be over and above the $60 mil to tear down Kemper and prepare the site. The total outlay would be closer to $100 mil