Kansas City's sports scene is dead. The Royals and the Chiefs are national jokes, and the Sprint Center is without a regular tenant, unless one defines "watching a number of clowns departing a Volkswagen at the circus" as a sport. Thankfully, hope springs from an unlikely source: the Independence Events Center (19100 East Valley View Parkway), home of new hockey franchise the Missouri Mavericks. The Central Hockey League team opens its 32-game home schedule there at 7:05 p.m. today and Saturday against Wichita. The league in which the Mavericks play may be minor, but implications for the Kansas City sports scene are anything but. If the Kansas City metro supports this CHL franchise, the NHL will be much more likely to move a major-league franchise to the Sprint Center. Tickets cost $13.75 to $36.75. Call 816-252-7825 for details.