With the Wichita Thunder slated to move to a new downtown arena, Sedgwick County officials are soliciting game plans for the future of Kansas Coliseum — and there are some intriguing plans already before commissioners.
With the Wichita Thunder (CHL) slated to move to a new downtown arena, Sedgwick County officials are soliciting game plans for the future of Kansas Coliseum — and there are some intriguing plans already before commissioners.
Three developers and arena-management companies have already responded to a request for proposals from Sedgwick County. They represent three very different approaches to the future of the facility. It's clear that the place still has a solid economic future; the issue is whether the county wishes to put more money into future development or leave things the way they are.
Hartman Arena, the facility owned by oilman Wink Hartman that houses an indoor-football team, would keep the Kansas Coliseum as it is: as the home for equestrian and livestock events. The only real change proposed by Hartman Arena is that it totally take over management of the facility, booking acts and managing concessions.
North American Management-Kansas would keep the coliseum and Britt Brown Arena the way they are and add hotels and retail to the area. Again, the emphasis would be on the existing equestrian and livestock events.
Heritage Development Group is proposing the most dramatic change to the 200-acre arena site: it would morph the area into the Saddle Rock Rodeo Resort, a $22-million expansion that would keep the Kansas Coliseum and replace Britt Brown Arena with a larger facility more suitable for professional rodeo.
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