American Royal leaders propose tearing down Kemper

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Re: American Royal leaders propose tearing down Kemper

Postby FangKC » Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:28 am

While it may appear to be loss that the American Royal is moving to Kansas, I would argue that it is not in the long run.

The American Royal is a diminishing entity. The livestock and horse show and rodeo attendance over the years have gone down. While I doubt it will go away completely, it is certainly less relevant to Kansas City than in the past. The only part of it that really has grown is the BBQ event--and that really has less to do with the American Royal's mission.

To retain the American Royal, KCMO would have to continue to pony up incentives to please the leadership of the AR. It was getting to the point that the AR was dictating to the City what it should do--like its' interests were more important than those of City residents. The tipping point was AR trying to tell the City could do with its' own public asset--Kemper Arena. There was discussion about building the new, smaller arena that the AR wanted, but just in another location to the east--in the parking lot. The AR wouldn't have it. They wanted Kemper demolished.

Having the soccer facility in Kemper is more in the long-term interest of the City, and the West Bottoms, than retaining the AR. More youth and families will benefit from this in the future than equestrian events. It will likely attract as many people to the West Bottoms, and many of them will probably be area residents. The AR attracts mostly out-of-towners. The Foutch Brothers' plan will likely bring more events to the West Bottoms than the AR.

The City really did need to find a way to unload Kemper Arena. City ownership of the facility was just too expensive. Selling the facility finds a new use, and retains an architectural asset. It also saves the City the expense of demolishing it.

The truth of the matter is that the AR was just becoming too expensive for the City to retain and subsidize. The AR had become the unreasonable relative who lives in your house, and is always asking to borrow money.

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Re: American Royal leaders propose tearing down Kemper

Postby shinatoo » Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:02 am

So what becomes of the AR arena and the rest of the facilities. Can they be used for the sports complex? Additional convention space? Is there a more valuable reuse for the entire complex than the Fosch plan now that AR is leaving?

It appears the Hale arena is almost as big as Bartle Hall. Should we take a breath and reconsider our convention space before we start on a convention hotel and a arena remodel?
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Re: American Royal leaders propose tearing down Kemper

Postby KC_JAYHAWK » Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:19 am

shinatoo wrote:So what becomes of the AR arena and the rest of the facilities. Can they be used for the sports complex? Additional convention space? Is there a more valuable reuse for the entire complex than the Fosch plan now that AR is leaving?

It appears the Hale arena is almost as big as Bartle Hall. Should we take a breath and reconsider our convention space before we start on a convention hotel and a arena remodel?


No Bartle Hall is perfect, it already has a relatively new ballroom, hotels around it (with new ones popping up), plus the PnL district just a few blocks away for lunch and evening crowds. The West Bottoms would be horrendous to hold conventions....can you imagine how busy the Conoco gas station would be for lunch? :lol:

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Re: American Royal leaders propose tearing down Kemper

Postby shinatoo » Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:46 am

KC_JAYHAWK wrote:
shinatoo wrote:So what becomes of the AR arena and the rest of the facilities. Can they be used for the sports complex? Additional convention space? Is there a more valuable reuse for the entire complex than the Fosch plan now that AR is leaving?

It appears the Hale arena is almost as big as Bartle Hall. Should we take a breath and reconsider our convention space before we start on a convention hotel and a arena remodel?


No Bartle Hall is perfect, it already has a relatively new ballroom, hotels around it (with new ones popping up), plus the PnL district just a few blocks away for lunch and evening crowds. The West Bottoms would be horrendous to hold conventions....can you imagine how busy the Conoco gas station would be for lunch? :lol:


Obviously you have never been to a convention in Las Vegas or Orlando. Nothing is really walk-able from either of those convention centers, except the convention hotel.

Our convention center isn't big enough and I don't see how it will get any bigger in it's current location. At minimum it would be nice to have a second space. Plus, it's not that far from downtown to Kemper.
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Re: American Royal leaders propose tearing down Kemper

Postby KCPowercat » Thu Oct 27, 2016 9:45 am

Hale or any part of the AR complex will not become any viable convention facility. Make into a huge youth space.

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Re: American Royal leaders propose tearing down Kemper

Postby flyingember » Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:17 am

KCPowercat wrote:Hale or any part of the AR complex will not become any viable convention facility. Make into a huge youth space.


It may not be good for people conventions but it's good for trade shows. One of the home shows uses it.

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Re: American Royal leaders propose tearing down Kemper

Postby aknowledgeableperson » Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:31 am

"It appears the Hale arena is almost as big as Bartle Hall. Should we take a breath and reconsider our convention space before we start on a convention hotel and a arena remodel?"

"Our convention center isn't big enough and I don't see how it will get any bigger in it's current location. At minimum it would be nice to have a second space. Plus, it's not that far from downtown to Kemper."

Hale Arena itself is not as large as Bartle. Throw in the Governors' Building and the upper and lower levels of the other building it still wouldn't be comparable. Not only that the space is third or fourth rate as compared to Bartle.
Hale Arena has had many uses but the Independence facility is better suited for events that can use either space.
And don't forget Skills USA used those facilities for it's gatherings and it was too spread out for that.

"The American Royal is a diminishing entity. The livestock and horse show and rodeo attendance over the years have gone down. While I doubt it will go away completely, it is certainly less relevant to Kansas City than in the past. The only part of it that really has grown is the BBQ event--and that really has less to do with the American Royal's mission."

I was talking recently with people I know who are still associated the city's convention facilities. I couldn't believe how far down the rodeo portion of the show has become. It was in bad shape 20 years ago but now it was a joke. The KC area use to be home to 3 annual rodeos and all did reasonably well. Benjamin Stables went bye bye years ago and I don't know if the KS Shriners still do an annual event. The Horse Show finals on a Saturday night use to draw upwards to 10,000 people. Guess the Livestock portion still does OK. Losing this event to KS will not hurt KCMO at all, probably a blessing. The BBQ event was started more as a lark. Nobody at the time felt it would be close to the event it is today. It was busting out of the area a decade ago so much that the facility became a negative for the event. Although it is nice to have the public around I think the event is more for the competitors than for the public. Sure, the AR loves the income it generates but it has to take care of the competitors or they may gradually stop coming.

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Re: American Royal leaders propose tearing down Kemper

Postby FangKC » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:36 pm

You have to look at trends. Livestock shows and rodeos--as entertainment--are not what they used to be among even the rural set. When I was a boy growing up in rural NW Missouri, my family used to attend rodeos frequently, and some of my family members competed. At our county fair, there was still a livestock competition, and even a small rodeo competition. None of that exists anymore. Few people even in rural areas attend rodeos. Fewer farm kids have horses. In fact, most don't. Fewer family farms even raise livestock.

When I was a kid, a lot of the local farmers raised cattle and hogs--even sheep. Today, few of them do. Of those that do, they are ones with contracts with big agricultural companies to do a very specific thing like raise calves, or baby pigs, to a certain weight. Others just birth animals to wean-age. Almost no farmers raise livestock from birth to butcher.

When I was a kid, it was common to drive down the road and see cattle in pastures everywhere. It's rare now. Most cattle are raised to a certain age and then fed a lot of grain to fatten them up. Very few cattle are mostly grass-fed now. Most pastures in NW Missouri have been plowed up for grain production. Pastures that weren't optimal for grain production have been allowed to grow back to timberland.

Thus, there is little incentive for family farmers to compete in livestock shows because they aren't be rewarded for long-term stewardship and skill raising livestock and improving it.

Horse ownership is becoming a rare thing that affluent people do. It's a very expensive hobby.

Even among rural kids, very few of them are actually engaged in agriculture, or have any interest in it. Agriculture has become very mechanized and corporate.

Even among farming families, very few of them even grow their own family garden anymore. I even doubt if their kids would know how to grow a garden.

Thus, my point about the AR becoming increasingly irrelevant as an ongoing entertainment event. The AR can build their facility in Wyandotte County, but in 50 years, I will be surprised if they draw enough people to even continue. It may only take 20 years. After that, I doubt any government will agree to subsidize them. The BBQ competition might be the only thing that is left, and at that point, it may not even need to be associated with the AR to survive.

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Re: American Royal leaders propose tearing down Kemper

Postby nomadcowatbk » Fri Oct 28, 2016 9:00 pm

do any big agri corps sponsor the Royal? Cargil? Monsanto? Bayer? Tyson?

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Re: American Royal leaders propose tearing down Kemper

Postby flyingember » Sat Oct 29, 2016 1:24 pm

nomadcowatbk wrote:do any big agri corps sponsor the Royal? Cargil? Monsanto? Bayer? Tyson?

There's a page showing who does

http://www.americanroyal.com/get-involv ... -sponsors/

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Re: American Royal leaders propose tearing down Kemper

Postby FangKC » Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:38 pm

Kansas City leaders giggle as Kansas commits $80 million to the American Royal

http://www.pitch.com/news/blog/20839077/kansas-city-leaders-giggle-as-kansas-commits-80-million-to-the-american-royal

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Re: American Royal leaders propose tearing down Kemper

Postby droopy » Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:32 pm

FangKC wrote:Kansas City leaders giggle as Kansas commits $80 million to the American Royal

http://www.pitch.com/news/blog/20839077/kansas-city-leaders-giggle-as-kansas-commits-80-million-to-the-american-royal


=D>

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Re: American Royal leaders propose tearing down Kemper

Postby brewcrew1000 » Tue Nov 01, 2016 11:03 am

aknowledgeableperson wrote:"

"The American Royal is a diminishing entity. The livestock and horse show and rodeo attendance over the years have gone down. While I doubt it will go away completely, it is certainly less relevant to Kansas City than in the past. The only part of it that really has grown is the BBQ event--and that really has less to do with the American Royal's mission."


Did the American Royal ever have the prestige as like the Calgary Stampede or was it a pretty minor event throughout its entire history?

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Re: American Royal leaders propose tearing down Kemper

Postby bobbyhawks » Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:36 pm

I notice that, while there were puff pieces about the American Royal BBQ prior to the event, there are no journalists following up to check what the actual attendance was. They were expecting 50k over the course of the weekend, but that seems to be the default number for the last many articles I can find (over a number of years). They sell tickets, so it shouldn't be difficult to at least get a "tickets sold" number, which would still leave a lot of questions. I would think the BBQ attendance would be worthy of checking. A big boost would support those who love it in the new location, while a big drop would be important info as well.

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Re: American Royal leaders propose tearing down Kemper

Postby rxlexi » Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:49 pm

I went out to the BBQ this year and had a blast, as usual. The $65 Uber ride and traffic on the way in were a little rough, but logistically I didn't have any issues. It absolutely loses character not being on the edge of downtown, under the bridge, ghosts of the Stockyards, but given that so much of the fun comes from individual tent setup and parties it remains a special event. Or maybe I'm just trying to get over my sadness that it has officially left the Bottoms for good. Didn't check out the public access areas so can't comment on that but would love to hear from anyone that did.

Much like with Sporting Park and Powell Gardens, my beef with VIllage West in general is less that some of these marquee KC attractions are "not" downtown, and more that they are just really far away from the central city, and VW feels even further than it is, to me, due to the empty stretch of I-70 through WyCo.

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Re: American Royal leaders propose tearing down Kemper

Postby KCPowercat » Wed Nov 02, 2016 8:04 am

VW is in a perfect location in my opinion.

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Re: American Royal leaders propose tearing down Kemper

Postby aknowledgeableperson » Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:00 am

brewcrew1000 wrote:
aknowledgeableperson wrote:"

"The American Royal is a diminishing entity. The livestock and horse show and rodeo attendance over the years have gone down. While I doubt it will go away completely, it is certainly less relevant to Kansas City than in the past. The only part of it that really has grown is the BBQ event--and that really has less to do with the American Royal's mission."


Did the American Royal ever have the prestige as like the Calgary Stampede or was it a pretty minor event throughout its entire history?


Not sure about national prestige but one has to look at the individual parts of the show.
One part is the rodeo. At one time it drew some of the best cowboys in the land. From what I remember this rodeo was the last one to participate in before the national finals. No other rodeo competed during that time. Then another location changed it's date to correspond to the AR dates and I think the rodeo association changed qualifying rules so if the best cowboys already qualified they would skip the competition to avoid the chance of getting hurt before the finals.
The various livestock shows are more or less regional and local. But those with money and pride bid high for the animals and the meat used for local school and charity fundraisers. Not sure how popular that is now.
The different horse shows had some prestige but they weren't considered among the best.

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Re: American Royal leaders propose tearing down Kemper

Postby FangKC » Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:44 am

A final piece of the Mosaic: Arena incentives approved (plus, see new renderings

The Planned Industrial Expansion Authority on Thursday approved one of the final pieces of the mosaic for the redevelopment of Kemper Arena as Mosaic Arena: public incentives.

By a 10-3 vote, the board approved an incentive package that includes a 10-year, 100 percent property tax abatement, followed by two years of 50 percent abatement. The abatements will cover the entire value of the arena and the improvements that will be made to it by developer Foutch Brothers LLC, which plans to convert the West Bottoms landmark into a two-level hub for youth and amateur sports. But Foutch Brothers has agreed to pay about $30,000 a year in property tax on the 10-acre site, which has been tax-exempt since the city developed the arena in 1974.


http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2017/02/02/a-final-piece-of-the-mosaic-arena-incentives.html

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Re: American Royal leaders propose tearing down Kemper

Postby flyingember » Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:56 am

12 years of abatement is outstanding. I expected more like 20. Especially for taking a huge expense off the books

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Re: American Royal leaders propose tearing down Kemper

Postby DaveKCMO » Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:32 am

council approves sale of kemper to foutch for $1: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics ... 35179.html


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