Historic Kemper Arena began a new era Tuesday as ground was broken to turn it into a sporting center named Mosaic Arena.
After years of discussion and putting the pieces together, Foutch Brothers plans a $39 million conversion with the help of historic tax credits and a 10-year tax abatement.
The resulting two-level facility will accommodate indoor soccer, basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, dance, fitness, running and other activities.
Mosaic Life Care, a St. Joseph health care company, bought the naming rights.
Kemper Arena, built in 1974 in the West Bottoms, has languished since the Sprint Center opened downtown in 2007.
Kansas City turned Kemper over to Foutch Brothers for $1, saving the city more than $1.2 million a year in maintenance costs.
The arena is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Foutch Brothers has a track record of restoring and repurposing old structures.
The American Royal Association, which plans to move to Wyandotte County, last month dropped its lease claim to the arena for 20 days a year.