News Columns & Blogs

Might Wichita's arena make money, too?

One new arena's success is no guarantee of another's, of course, but it was interesting to read that Kansas City, Mo., will reap a $1.8 million profit from the Sprint Center's operation during the past fiscal year. That's because of a profit-sharing deal with arena operator Anschutz Entertainment Group; also, without an NHL or NBA team, the Sprint Center has the flexibility to book more big concerts and other events. The arena also was ranked by Pollstar among the nation's top five live entertainment venues for the first quarter of 2009. "It means it's a must-play marketplace. Two years ago, it wasn't," Tim Leiweke, president of Anschutz Entertainment Group, told the Kansas City Star.Similarly, Sedgwick County's contract with manager SMG for the Intrust Bank Arena protects the county from losses for the first five years. And what if it proves profitable? SMG would get the first $450,000 of annual profit after recovering money for any prior losses. The county would receive the next $450,000 in profit after being reimbursed for any capital expenses exceeding $250,000. And after that, the county would receive 60 percent and SMG would receive 40 percent of any remaining profit.