Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Respect for AEG's Tim Leiweke

Posted By on Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 11:57 AM

click to enlarge sprint_center_welcomex_thumb_300x210.jpg

Tim Leiweke has balls.

No one can take that away from Leiweke, the president of AEG -- the group running the Sprint Center.

Asked about comments made by David Cordish -- one of the guys behind the Power & Light District -- in an e-mail to City Hall calling the Sprint Center a "disaster" because the arena hadn't landed an anchor tenant, Leiweke didn't flinch with his keep-my-name-out-of-your-mouth reply to the Star.

"The Power & Light District was committed to before the Sprint Center was a reality," Leiweke said. "For them to use us as a crutch is a crock. Don't worry about us. Get your district fully open."

Whoa. Respect to Leiweke.

In other Sprint Center news, Neil deMause, author of Field of Schemes, looks at the claim that the arena is turning a profit. deMause clarifies that the profit is "operational profit -- in other words, it doesn't count the cost of paying for the building it in the first place."

But deMause says that Kansas City seeing any money is a sign that "AEG is doing a good job. ... Given that K.C. is on the hook for $10-15 million a year in arena bond

payments (guesstimating here -- that information doesn't seem to be

online anywhere), there's almost no way it will actually turn a profit

on building the Sprint Center."

Still, deMause says it's good news, and he translate this statement Leiweke made to the Star: "The economic model of this building is quite successful. The

last thing we or the city want to do is throw away that model and make

the arena a loss leader with another tenant. It's a tougher scenario

with a professional team. I'm sure we wouldn't be able to write a

check to the city for $1.8 million."

"In other words: As predicted, they're not going to be no pushovers for, say, the Islanders," deMause wrote.

No wonder Leiweke was carefully choosing his words during the preseason game.

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