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Arena timeline

  • Published Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010, at 12:05 a.m.
  • Updated Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010, at 7:38 a.m.

April 6, 1993: Wichita voters reject by a 2-1 margin a three-year, half-cent city sales tax to build a $61 million, 18,000-seat downtown sports and entertainment arena.

May 1999: Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission board votes to pursue a downtown arena.

March 7, 2002: Sports commission unveils plans for the Wichita DynaPlex, a $140 million, 17,000-seat downtown arena to be funded by a half-cent city sales tax.

June 18, 2002: DynaPlex proposal is shelved six weeks before Aug. 6 election. Backers cite a layoff-plagued local economy and recent state and school district tax increases.

July 16, 2003: County commission votes to proceed with a $55 million renovation of the Kansas Coliseum complex.

June 23, 2004: City of Wichita proposes a $130 million, 15,000-seat downtown arena and asks county to raise property taxes to finance $71 million of the cost. Other funding is to come from STAR bonds and a car-rental tax.

July 14, 2004: County offers counter-proposal, calling for a $141.5 million, 15,000-seat arena financed by a short-term county sales tax, if voters approve. City and business leaders embrace the plan at a meeting in Old Town.

Sept. 1, 2004: County commission approves a ballot question asking voters to approve a one-cent sales tax increase for 30 months to fund the arena, and revises the arena's cost estimate to $184.5 million.

Nov. 2, 2004: Voters approve the 30-month, one-cent arena sales tax by about 5,000 votes, 84,045 to 79,015. Ballot calls for tax proceeds to go toward building the arena, making improvements to the pavilions at the Kansas Coliseum, and establishing an operating and maintenance reserve fund.

April 4, 2005: Gov. Kathleen Sebelius signs bill authorizing arena sales tax.

July 1, 2005: Arena sales tax goes into effect.

November 2005: County commission approves the arena's site at Waterman and Emporia after considering four options. Selection is based on recommendations of architects, committees and public surveys.

January 2006: County rejects as too costly and time consuming an idea to build the arena over the Arkansas River at the Lewis Street Bridge, as suggested by former commissioner Dave Bayouth.

May 2006: County commission approves the arena's design from among three options, based on a consensus from public meetings and advisory committees.

July 2007: Demolition of existing buildings begins at arena site.

Aug. 1, 2007: County approves contract with Philadelphia-based SMG to manage arena. SMG will foot the bill for any losses and will get the first $450,000 of annual profit after recovering money for any prior losses.

September, 2007: Arena construction begins.

Dec. 31, 2007: Arena sales tax ends. Tax raises $206.5 million.

Jan. 9, 2008: County commission approves a $14.75 million package of naming rights for the arena and some of its components with Intrust Bank, Cessna Aircraft and Spirit AeroSystems. The money is to go into the maintenance and reserve fund.

Dec. 10, 2008: After years of discussion, commission approves parking plan that uses existing city, state and private parking lots and addition of new lots.

Oct. 31, 2009: Construction substantially completed, keys to arena are handed over to SMG.

Jan 2, 2010: Arena holds grand opening. County estimates final cost at $196 million.

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