A selection committee has made preliminary progress in trying to determine the future of Kemper Arena.
The committee has now heard detailed presentations behind closed doors on the two redevelopment proposals for the underused arena in the West Bottoms.
“We have met with both the proposing parties,” said Councilman Scott Taylor, chairman of the council’s planning, zoning and economic development committee. Taylor is on the selection committee that will make a recommendation to the Kansas City Council.
The city wants to transfer ownership of the arena to a private group to save more than $1 million a year in operating costs once the public bonds on the West Bottoms facility are paid off in April.
One proposal is from the Kansas City-based Foutch Brothers development company, which envisions turning the arena into a regional complex for amateur youth, family oriented and adult sports.
The other is from Wichita businessmen Rodney and Brandon Steven, who want to acquire the arena for smaller concerts, junior hocky club teams and other sports and entertainment.
Taylor said the city has asked some follow-up questions and hopes for answers in about a week. The selection committee is expected to meet shortly after that and decide how to proceed.
Once the committee confirms the proposals are viable, the council will hold public hearings to help determine the best reuse for the arena.