Sprint Center’s management agreement with Kansas City added $927,144 to city coffers this year, bringing to nearly $10 million the entertainment and sports venue has contributed in profit-sharing to the city since 2008.
At a news conference Friday afternoon that was partly overshadowed by the announcement that musician Billy Joel will return to Sprint Center on May 1, arena and city officials said the facility had exceeded use projections each year of operation.
Brenda Tinnen, Sprint Center’s senior vice president and general manager, said the award-winning venue had been a key factor in the addition of about $6 billion in downtown redevelopment projects.
Cindy Circo, Kansas City’s mayor pro tem who admitted to getting “giddy” about the Billy Joel announcement, accepted the replica check from Tinnen.
The arena is owned by the city and operated by Anschutz Entertainment Group of Los Angeles. As part of its 35-year agreement with the city, AEG splits half the net operating revenues with the city once the firm turns a 16 percent annual return on its investment in the facility.
Annual profit-sharing amounts from the arena to the city have been as high as $1.8 million in some years, but that’s because of the timing of events, Sprint Center spokeswoman Shani Tate said.
The city this year did not budget for any profit-sharing contribution from the Sprint Center because of a recent state tax assessment on suite rental profits. So this $927,144 was unexpected, said Randall Landes, city finance director.
City officials have not yet determined whether that money will be needed to pay debt service or whether it should be banked for future arena maintenance or go for other convention and tourism or general fund needs.
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