The Foutch Brothers outlined their plan to a city council committee last night.
I just thought I’d let all hockey and ice-related sports enthusiasts that the Foutch Brothers plan does not involve using the pipes in the floor to host ice hockey tournaments or figure skating sports.
While I think it’s a nice plan, mostly because I outlined it on this blog a long time ago. The Kansas City Star outlined part of Foutch’s pitch to the committee:
As the father of two teenage athletes, Foutch said he travels many weekends to other cities hosting sports clubs, and he’s convinced there’s a huge demand for the type of facility Kemper could provide. He said he has numerous letters of intent and believes the building could attract 1,000 kids per night for practice, plus tournaments, with 500,000 visitors annually.
I wrote that here on this blog years ago.
Get someone from the city (or, I guess it could be a private entity) to promote Kemper Arena and the surrounding area as a place to hold regional athletic events. These things draw hundreds of thousands of people. Recently, Indianapolis held a regional qualifying volleyball tournament — 1,000 teams, 10 girls per team, families, coaches, athletic equipment suppliers = at least 25,000 – 30,000 people. And, that’s just one weekend. You think this short-sighted plan to put in a BBQ Hall of Fame would even draw 30,000 visitors in an entire year. Ask the Jazz/Baseball museum.
Here’s the thing Foutch’s are leaving out, you can charge much, much more for ice time. Yes, there is an initial up-front cost to re-establish the chilling system and restore/repair the pipes, but what can you charge per hour for a basketball court? You can charge $300+/hour for ice hockey. And, if you really are going to establish a balcony, then only the bottom half of the building needs to be cooled to 60 degrees. The upper half can still be 72 or whatever temperature it needs to be so future LeBron’s don’t cramp up. The demand is there. Heck, Centerpoint Community Ice in Independence will be fully booked until midnight tonight. How many basketball facilities will be booked that late on a Friday night?
Without ice, Foutch’s plan is dead to me. Don’t care…