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Government

Council Moves Toward Phasing Out Kemper Arena

Kemper arena
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Kansas City took steps toward throwing in the towel on money-losing Kemper Arena Wednesday. A committee approved plans to release Anschutz Entertainment from its contract to manage the aging arena.

The Planning Zoning and Economic Development Committee voted unanimously to terminate AEG's contract six months before the year-end renewal date.

But convention facilities director Oscar McGaskey emphasized that Anschutz will continue to be in charge of the newer Sprint Arena and the city is not displeased with the firm's work. McGaskey said he expects the relationship between AEG and the city will be even stronger than it now is.

Only 10 events are booked at Kemper for the remainder of the year, and the facilities director said the city can save over $200,000 a year in management fees and $100,000 or more on top of that by mothballing the arena when it is not being used by the American Royal.

The American Royal proposes to tear it down and build a smaller, privately financed facility.

Updated Thursday, June 28

The full city council today approved ending the AEG contract.  The city will take over operation of Kemper Arena on July 31 of this year.

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