KC's Top 12 Sports Stories Of '12: Will The Sprint Center Garner A New Franchise?

Patrons of Kansas City often become frustrated by the lack of post-season success by their sports teams, but there is also another frustration that goes well beyond any team. That would be the four and half year old Sprint Center near the Power and Light district. It certainly is a capable arena as it holds anywhere from 17,544 for hockey to 18,555 for basketball.

The issue here is both sports have come and gone in Kansas City before, and though it's a large city by midwest standards, we know Kansas City is still a small fish in the big pond. The saving grace may be an ownership group, AEG, that has shown interest in bringing professional sports to the Sprint Center.

Personally, I think the NHL is a more likely scenario in the long run as Kansas City would have a natural rival in the St Louis Blues. Also, the community has been further down the road with the NHL in recent years than they have been with the NBA. Mario Lemieux used the Sprint Center as leverage to get a new arena built in Pittsburgh for the Penguins. Also there seems to be more NHL teams in flux when it comes to relocation in the near future.

There are many rivals to Kansas City in terms of acquiring either an NBA or NHL team. Seattle and Las Vegas are often brought up for both, while Quebec City and Hartford are often mentioned for returns of NHL teams. While the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas is spacious, it's nearly 20 years old, and doesn't have all the bells and whistles that the Sprint Center has.

With many arenas struggling (especially the NBA) in drawing solid attendance, I can see why arena ownership may be content without having an anchor tenant, but the allure of having another professional team would be much better for the city as a whole. Madonna may be coming to Kansas City, but she and other acts won't be using the facilities at the Sprint Center as often as a sports franchise would.

So as they have been for going on five years now, the citizens of Kansas City are stuck in a holding pattern when it comes to obtaining another major sports franchise. Though the window is still open, I wouldn't stand and wait for a team to enter. If it comes, it comes, however I suggest rallying behind the team we already have. The Royals are going to be a lot of fun over the next few years, and the Chiefs should rebound in a weak division as they return many players from injury.

But as always, things can quickly change. Afterall, that window is open, no matter how small it may seem.

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