Friday, July 20, 2012

Selling Kemper Arena to the Swedes? Oh, Sorry, Kømpår Arena

Whadda you want? Quit yer starin', ain't you never seen a nose before?
Kemper Arena: home of numerous Big Eight tournaments, one NCAA Final Four basketball championship, the only KC NHL and NBA franchises, uh...that Owen Hart incident...err...the Brigade.  Now, potential home of ready-to-assemble furniture super giant IKEA?  Perhaps.

You may recall AEG's decision last month to hand over control of Kemper Arena to the city since, well, the arena isn't doing anything.  There have been talks to mothball it, or turn it into an equine center for the American Royal, or even placing a retail store or stores inside of the building.  Even some are suggesting we do something crazy and utilize the space for something that could bring visitors and revenue to the city – but, again, that's totally crazy.

Well, now there may be some discussions about IKEA taking over the building for one of their massive furniture stores.  Well, according to Twitter anyway.

Jump because this started to get too long.

So, Sly Fox is cool with it.  This has been discussed before, but the only reason this is somewhat worth mentioning is because the panelists on KCPT's This Week in Kansas City discussed this last year or a so ago when the rodeo left Kemper (unfortunately I cannot find the video).  

If IKEA is indeed looking to expand to the KC area, why would it go to Kemper and the West Bottoms?  Yeah, there's the space, but there is also space at the Legends, along with other retail outlets.  Or in Independence near Bass Pro and the IEC.  Could IKEA alone draw people to the West Bottoms?  Probably not.  So, the issue still remains of finding a use for Kemper, or biting the bullet financially and tearing it down lest it cost the city more money just to heat and cool it while they decide what to do with it.  They should do something, that's for sure.  And soon, preferably.

Here is the current discussion going on at This Week in Kansas City about Kemper after AEG handed control over to the city.

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Which may not be such a bad thing after all.  I for, one, welcome our new Swedish overlords.  I'd like to remind them that as a random dude on the Internet, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their home furnishings distribution centers.

Also, this is Mayor Sly James's Twitter background.  I think City Hall needs a new logo...

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