AEG would like to take back what it said about landing the NHL or NBA in KC, but won't say it
The Kansas City Star
Let me apologize up front for the cynicism but the next time AEG president Tim Leiweke thinks it’s time to break from speaking to Los Angeles rotary clubs long enough to acknowledge his company’s failure to bring an anchor tenant to the Sprint Center, I hope he has something more realistic than what he told our Randy Covitz:
*”Kansas City can take its time. The key is you can chase a team, but you’re going to end up not making a great deal and maybe being disappointed. Or you can wait and not only try to find the right situation, but economically make the right deal.
“We’re not chasing, and I love the mayor’s attitude, which is: ‘Under our terms.’”*
If I can take the liberty of translating Leiweke’s comments to reality:
We either thought we could get a team here or knew we had to mention it to get the fine people of Kansas City to build this arena, but now that we’re making money — and especially now that I’m trying to bring the NFL to LA — I want an NHL or NBA team in Kansas City about as much as I want my hair to look good in the morning: it’d be nice, and I’ll spend a few seconds on it, but either way I’ll go on with my day.
The Sprint Center is a terrific place, still the newest NHL/NBA-level arena in the country, but even if we ignore what sounded like some issues with the game experience last night, the same issue remains and that’s who the heck is going to own this hypothetical Kansas City NHL/NBA team?
Our biggest ally was supposed to be Leiweke’s AEG, but they are clearly less motivated to fight on our behalf now.
The arguments can be made that Kansas City is overextended on sports consumption as is, and there is respected data that can back this up. It would also be extreme to say AEG us over, since the Sprint Center is — at least so far — making money for the city without an anchor tenant.
But it’s also necessary to point out that Leiweke’s talking points about this are disingenuous.
Profit from the building or not, AEG hasn’t lived up to its end of the Sprint Center.