KC Star Op-Ed comes around to no Pens
The Kansas City Star's Op-Ed page is now on board that it looks bleak for an NBA or NHL team to relocate to Kansas City.
Keep pressing for events at KC’s Sprint Center
Let's break this opinion down paragraph by paragraph.
Construction is proceeding at a good pace on Kansas City’s Sprint Center. City officials report plenty of money on hand for the project.
And the arena’s top leaders are working diligently to bring all kinds of events — from concerts to Arena Football League games — to the building once it opens in late 2007.
Has Tyler Prochnow and the Brigade officially announced that they can move to Sprint Center? I haven't heard.
That would be good. Arena Football is a nice addition to our sports landscape. Plus, the Brigade's logo is cool.
This is exactly what Kansas Citians had hoped would happen when they approved the arena in 2004 to help revive downtown and replace the aging Kemper Arena.
Well, almost exactly.
As the sound effect goes, Wa-wa-waaaaaa
This week Kansas City officials got some discouraging news about their attempts to woo a professional basketball or hockey team to the Sprint Center.
This week? This week? It has been nearly nothing but discouraging news for six months. Read through my 100+ posts. The Star chose to ignore what was happening in Pittsburgh, the Penguins inching closer and closer to staying in Pittsburgh.
One loyal Kansas City-area hockey fan once wrote, "Pennsylvania politics will prevail" more than a year ago about whether the Penguins would move. I don't know if it was the alliteration or the fact that he's a Western PA native, but it stuck with me. I began to follow what was going on in Pittsburgh, then, started this blog because I'd read about newsworthy events in Pittsburgh or other cities and find nothing in the Star.
It appears the Seattle SuperSonics of the National Basketball Association will move in a few years to Oklahoma City. And the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League will stay put. Both franchises had been on the list of possible major-league franchises for Kansas City.
Mayor Kay Barnes remains upbeat, putting some pressure where it belongs: on the Anschutz Entertainment Group. The company, which is the city’s partner in building the Sprint Center, is on the hook to cover operating cost overruns for the facility.
Of course Barnes remains upbeat. She's a politician. What is she going to do? Throw in the towel?
And, putting pressure on AEG is misguided at best. AEG can't WILL a franchise to break their lease or sell their arena.
Anschutz Entertainment needs to keep up the full-court press to get a NBA or NHL team to Kansas City. A club would bring thousands of people downtown about 40 times a year. Among other benefits, this would be a tremendous boon to the nearby Kansas City Power & Light District.
How come he didn't say "keep up the strong forecheck" instead of "full-court press"?
Yes, NHL or NBA would bring thousands of people downtown about 40 times a year. But, so would the AHL. Maybe 8,500 and not 17,000, but it's better than 0. Combine the AHL with the AFL and you have a base of nearly 500,000 visitors from which to build. Not bad.
In the meantime, Kansas Citians recognize that the Sprint Center promises to be a great addition to downtown.
Yes, we do.
And, yes it absolutely is.
However, continuing to misinform Kansas Citians about the possibility of the NHL is irresponsible. The NBA seems to be in a greater state of flux with the Orlando Magic, NO/OKC/Charlotte Hornets and Portland Trailblazers with tenuous arena deals.
I do believe, based on the history of NHL franchises, there is one NHL team that may consider relocating to KC. More on that later.