SBD/September 28, 2011/Facilities

Leiweke: No Urgency To Land Anchor Tenant For K.C.'s Sprint Center

Sprint Center drew 17,779 fans for last night's Penguins-Kings preseason game
AEG President & CEO Tim Leiweke before last night's Penguins-Kings preseason game at Sprint Center said there is "not an urgency" for the arena to land an anchor tenant, according to Randy Covitz of the K.C. STAR. Leiweke, whose company manages Sprint Center, said, "We’re fine without one, and we probably make more money without one. And the city makes more money without one. That said, if we can make the right deal and find the right team, I definitely think that’s what we have to do here." Last night's game drew 17,779 fans, the "largest crowd ever to see a hockey game" in K.C. Leiweke noted, "I'd say a third of this crowd has someone's jersey on and an affiliation to a team. It tells me what I've always known: This is a good hockey town." But he added, "Kansas City can take its time. ... The key is you can chase a team, but you’re going to end up not making a great deal and maybe being disappointed. Or you can wait and not only try to find the right situation, but economically make the right deal. We’re not chasing, and I love the mayor’s attitude, which is: 'Under our terms.'" Covitz notes it "would seem many of the 72 suite holders, whose leases come up for renewal in another year, would be disappointed they’re still without an anchor tenant." But Leiweke said that the "opposite is true." Leiweke: "I talked to a bunch of them (Tuesday night), and what they told me was the variety of events that appeal to everyone within their company, within their family or organization means the suites are more valuable" (K.C. STAR, 9/28).
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