The redevelopment of Kansas City’s Kemper Arena continues, as the facility is in the midst of its conversion to Hy-Vee Arena.
Foutch Brothers is undertaking a $39-million renovation of Kemper Arena. Ground was broken for the project last September, and it will lead to the venue becoming a multi-level facility that is capable of hosting multiple events. Once the work is completed, the facility–which will be rechristened as Hy-Vee Arena–will include 5,000 seats on its upper level and around 3,500 on its lower level.
Construction is still taking place, with several key tasks remaining. However, Hy-Vee Arena is on track to host a pickleball tournament that starts on September 21. More from the Kansas City Star:
There’s still plenty left to do before the West Bottoms’ historic Kemper Arena reopens as Hy-Vee Arena, but vendors have signed on to lease most of the commercial space in the building. And construction crews have begun installing flooring on top of the bare cement in the concourses. The lower-level courts on the original floor of the arena aren’t as far along as the gleaming wood on the newly installed second level.
The Kansas City Council sold Kemper Arena to Foutch Brothers a year and a half ago for just $1. The developers have spent $39 million overhauling it to become a youth and adult sports facility with various retailers — including coffee shops, arcades and games, shops and wellness businesses — and what is billed as the longest indoor track in the 48 contiguous states.
“It’s going to be great for Kansas City because this will be a destination for visitors from around the country to come see if they’re into sports of any kind,” Kansas City Councilman Scott Taylor said on a tour of the unfinished building Monday. “Every weekend is basically booked for tournaments, whether it’s volleyball, basketball, pickleball, a lot of other sports.”
A public happy hour at Hy-Vee Arena is scheduled for October 5. Kemper Arena originally opened in 1974, was once home to Kansas City’s last NBA and NHL franchises. The NBA’s Kansas City Kings played games there through 1985, while the NHL’s Kansas City Scouts had a much shorter run at the venue, lasting from 1974-1976.
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