If you're still clinging to the hope that Sprint Center will be the home of an NHL or NBA team, it might be time to give up. Despite AEG's optimistic spin seven years ago that another big-league team would be KC-bound, the chances of an anchor tenant moving in are all but gone.
The latest proof that Sprint Center will remain just a popular stop for touring acts comes from The Star's Sam Mellinger in a Friday dispatch from Los Angeles. The columnist reports that AEG has shifted its focus from getting Kansas City another sports team to luring an NFL team to the metropolis. "If you still hold out any hope for a team coming to the Sprint Center,
you should know the company that bragged about making it all happen for
us is no longer motivated to work on our behalf," he writes. Bummer.
He reports, "Out here in LA, the hottest topic is AEG's demand that the
approve a tax-free plan by July 31 to build a new football stadium
downtown that the company promises would attract an NFL franchise by
next summer." AEG CEO Tim Leiweke is busy telling the city that if they
build a $275-million building, a team will come, just as he did here.
Those with long memories will recall that in 2004, Leiweke told The Star
"I can assure you, there is going to be an anchor tenant." He sure does
talk a good game. Mellinger reports that Leiweke is yakking up a storm
to media outlets in L.A., but he wouldn't discuss his unfulfilled promises
to Kansas City with the paper. "The official line out of AEG is that
Leiweke will comment when something meaningful happens, which
realistically means never," Mellinger writes.
He somberly concludes: "[I]t's painfully obvious that so much of what we were told would happen
in Kansas City probably never will, while the same company is following
through on a project that it plainly deems more important."
Sorry, Kansas City, we don't get to have any self-esteem. Or any more sports teams.