So, did you see the Business Journal’s story on the proposal for Kemper Arena?
Steve Foutch confirmed Tuesday that Foutch Brothers plans to buy the West Bottoms arena, which largely fell out of use after the 2007 opening of Sprint Center. Once Kemper Arena is acquired, he said, the building will be converted into a regional hub for youth and amateur sporting events as well as a variety of fitness, education and healthy lifestyle activities.
I read this and thought, “Holy shit! That’s what I said.”
On March 27, 2012 in my post What of Kemper Arena? I wrote,
““Convert some of the parking lots to soccer/lacrosse/football/rugby fields. Do something similar to the Overland Park soccer complex. There are simply never enough fields for the soccer/lacrosse/football community. Maybe even a BMX track. Make it Disney Wide World of Sports for the Midwest.
Put the ice down inside Kemper Arena from December to May. Allow local youth and adult hockey teams to schedule games and practices at the facility. Put down curling circles and open it up to the figure skating community. I guarantee the ice time would be gobbled up in a hurry. Hale Arena also has pipes in the floor. Both buildings could have ice sheets, if needed.”
Then again, in June, in my post Kemper to be mothballed — no one is surprised, I wrote,
“All this is very sad. There is plenty of land around Kemper to use it for things that Kansas City needs. Kansas City could build one of the premier youth sports complexes in the country — hockey, soccer, lacrosse, football, basketball, volleyball, tennis, futsal all could be played in the arena and surrounding land. Install fields, courts and an inflatable dome (like in Roeland Park) so part of facilities could be used in the Winter. The bowl at Kemper could be used for hockey and for basketball and volleyball. Hell, even Omaha is thinking far more outside-of-the-box than Kansas City. They put a temporary pool in their basketball/hockey arena so they could host the Olympic Trials. Seeing other cities smaller, yet more progressive, than KC is frustrating. ”
Of course, the Foutch Brothers have no chance at their project. Fighting BOTAR? In Kansas City? Please. Even if Foutch Brothers idea is better, saves the City money and could, potentially produce more revenue, there is no way they win a fight with American Royal…no way.
The quote in Rob Roberts story that bothers me is from some guy at the American Royal who says, “Some of the estimates are as high as $100 million, just to keep it [Kemper] going until 2045.” Shocking. Did anyone honestly think Kemper would remain viable after Sprint Center opened?
You know what would make it viable? If UMKC had a hockey team…heck, if there is a proposal similar to one of my other posts, I may throw that out there again (and again, and again).