They did it again.
The Kansas City Star continues their irresponsible reporting about Sprint Center. It’s like these editorials were written by first year journalism students.
In their editorial section, the Star says the investment in Sprint Center continues to be a good deal because AEG returned $927,144 to the city. On the surface, this does seem like a good deal. But, you really have to dig deeper to evaluate whether that $927,144 is really something to tout.
The city continues to pour money into the Power & Light District. I don’t know the latest figures and I’m not a reporter, so I’m not going to dig around to find out. However, you simply cannot say Sprint Center’s profit sharing check is a great deal for the city if P&L continues to be a drag on city coffers. To my chagrin, even the Pitch has failed to add AEG profit sharing contribution, but then subtract how much money P&L loses.
SPRINT CENTER AND THE POWER & LIGHT DISTRICT ARE TIED TOGETHER
Forever and ever and ever, they are tied together. Let’s break this down.
For instance, it would make little sense for Sprint Center officials to reduce their ability to get first-class concerts by setting aside 40 or so dates a season for a National Basketball Association team. In turn, that club could demand to take some or all of the fees and concession revenue during games at the center.
Yes, I agree with this. A team would demand fees. I’ve agreed with this since 2002 when I started writing about it. Back then, the KC Star was writing about Sprint Center as if an NBA or NHL coming to the arena was inevitable. I wrote that the lease agreement offered by AEG wouldn’t be any better than the agreement the team currently had so why would the team move?
What the Star fails to mention is that an NBA or NHL team would drive 580,000+ butts to downtown over the course of a season. Granted, a few concerts wouldn’t come as a result. Subtract those four or five concerts Sprint Center wouldn’t have and you still have half a million more people going through the arena. Oh, AND WALKING IN, AROUND, NEAR AND THROUGH P&L! As a result, maybe P&L wouldn’t be a drag on the city.
If there was any year P&L would be profitable, it would be this one, right? Big XII tourney, Royals long playoff run & Graham Zusi and Matt Besler playing in the World Cup. Imagine all that churning through P&L, plus an NBA or NHL team’s 14,000 per game. Oh, and by the way, you can still have concerts. It happens in Nashville and Columbus and Raleigh other medium-sized cities like ours.
Look, I agree that Sprint Center was a good investment. It started a chain reaction that has completely revitalized downtown Kansas City. We’ve had in the last year, or will have in the next year, some great concerts, like Foo Fighters,
Pearl Jam, Paul McCartney, Dave Matthews and Maroon 5. I suppose there are 10s of people who are excited about Nickelback, too.
But, to report on Sprint Center’s profit sharing check without reporting on P&L’s net loss is just irresponsible.
Oh, and nevermind the fact AEG is working hard to get an NHL team in Vegas…even though they already “promised” us one…