Vandalism at Sprint Center suspected

By now, most dwellers and workers in Kansas City’s downtown have probably noticed windows busted out of the Sprint Center.

Four of them on the south side are broken. Each 700-pound pane could cost about $5,000 to replace.

So what happened?

AEG, the management company for the arena, said this week that authorities suspect vandalism. A company spokesperson, Shani Tate, didn’t elaborate on the exact cause, nor did she identify which authorities had investigated.

“We have taken steps to cooperate with law enforcement authorities to ensure the safety of Sprint Center guests and security of all downtown buildings,” Tate said. “The safety of Sprint Center guests, employees, pedestrians, vehicular traffic is of paramount importance.”

Directly across Interstate 670 to the south, bullets three times since late January have damaged windows at The Kansas City Star’s downtown production facility.

Randy Waters, The Star’s vice president for production, said the damage appeared to have been caused in each case by a small-caliber weapon.

At the Sprint Center, two windows were broken before the start of last weekend’s Big 12 Tournament, and two more were broken later.

This week, tape appeared to secure temporary coverings in the $276 million arena.

Tate said the hope is to have each window repaired “in a timely manner with minimal inconvenience or interruption for downtown stakeholders.”

She said the repair cost of a single pane depended on a “variety of factors.” A story in The Star in 2007, while the arena was being constructed, cited official estimates of about $5,000.