The true cost of an arena

This is my excerpt.

Sprint Center 3-10-07
Sprint Center 3-10-07 by ChrisM70 on Flickr

This week you’re going to hear lots of discussion about arena financing, and piece in the Bee today calls attention to the Sprint Center in Kansas City, which is acting as the new model of an arena plan that worked without costing taxpayers anything.

So you might hear a lot about the Sprint Center this week from various groups, and one thing to take into account is that the touted $200 million price tag for that arena is about far less than half ($470 million what folks thought a new Sacto arena would cost back in 2006 in recommending the failed arena tax. Just keep that in mind throughout the week.

UPDATE: KCRA reports that the cost could actually be closer to $370 million.

Author: CoolDMZ

"X-ray vision to see in between / Where's my kimono and my time machine?"

3 thoughts on “The true cost of an arena”

  1. I know the Maloof sponsored analysis said it wasn’t cost effective, but I would love to see an actual independent analysis of rehabbing the old Arco Arena. Yes downtown is a better place for an arena, if our region figures out how to raise the cash.

    But as a Kings season ticket holder up until a few years ago, I always would look around the decrepit, crowded building during games and still see potential. A $50-150M expansion of the ground floor concourse into a broad, airy plaza-like entertainment area, plus some general freshening of the rest of the arena, would be a cost-effective “middle solution”.

    Sort of like how Green Bay, an even smaller market player in pro-sports, has stayed competitive by continually developing around the ancient Lambeau Field over the decades.


  2. “Without costing taxpayers anything” is a bit of an exaggeration. No wait, it’s actually a lie.

    Kansas City took out about $200 million in bonds to pay for the arena, the principal and interest costs them about $14 million a year. They make about $9 million a year from hotel and car rental taxes to pay that off, and get $1-2 million from the operation of the arena. If it seems like that revenue adds up to less than their costs, it’s because it does, and the city of Kansas City pays the difference (the same way they also pay the difference on the value of the bonds they floated to build the “Power & Light District,” Kansas City’s entertainment complex/mermaid bar equivalent) out of the general fund. Plus, as the linked article points out, that hotel and car rental tax revenue means there are other things that could be paid for with those taxes (like more police or fire service) but are using the money for an arena instead.


  3. Yeah I guess I was exaggerating for dramatic effect, the Bee piece just claims that now new taxes were introduced. But what I was saying is that *they* will be prepared to lie to get things done.

    I read that FoS post yesterday too, good stuff. I like the point about the opportunity cost.


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