T-Mobile Center (formerly known as Sprint Center) is a multi-purpose arena in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. It is located at the intersection of 14th Street and Grand Boulevard on the east side of the Power & Light District. The arena's naming rights partner is T-Mobile US, which completed a merger with Sprint Corporation in April 2020. The arena's name was officially changed on July 9, 2020 to reflect the brand’s change. T-Mobile’s second headquarters are in nearby Overland Park, Kansas.
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|Former names||Sprint Center (2007–2020)|
|Address||1407 Grand Boulevard|
|Location||Kansas City, Missouri|
|Public transit|| KC Streetcar|
at Power & Light
|Owner||Kansas City, Missouri|
|Operator||Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG)|
|Capacity||Arena football: 17,297|
Ice hockey: 17,544
|Broke ground||June 24, 2005|
|Opened||October 10, 2007|
|Construction cost||$276 million|
($344 million in 2020 dollars)
|Architect||Downtown Arena Design Team:|
|Project manager||ICON Venue Group|
|Structural engineer||Walter P Moore|
|Services engineer||M-E Engineers, Inc.|
|General contractor||Mortenson Construction|
Facade Design & Supply = Overgaard Ltd.
|Kansas City Command (AFL) (2008, 2011–2012)|
Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament (2008, 2010–present)
T-Mobile Center opened on October 10, 2007, and a concert by Elton John held three days later was the arena's first event. The center is owned by the city of Kansas City, Missouri. The arena seats over 19,000 people and has 72 suites. T-Mobile Center has effectively replaced Kemper Arena, which was built in 1974 just a few miles away in the southern portion of the West Bottoms neighborhood. Additionally, the College Basketball Experience, which includes the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, is connected to and directly north of T-Mobile Center.
T-Mobile Center hosted the Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament in 2008 and has done so every year since 2010. It also hosted the first and second rounds of the 2009 and 2013 NCAA Men's Tournaments, as well as the regional rounds of the 2017 NCAA Men's Tournament and the 2010 NCAA Women's Tournament; it also hosted a 2019 NCAA Men's Division I regional. The arena also was the home of the former Kansas City Command of the Arena Football League (AFL).
The city of Kansas City has entered into discussions with the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) about possible expansion or relocation of a professional hockey and/or basketball franchise for the arena; however, neither the NHL nor the NBA have yet to approve a team to play in T-Mobile Center.
Ground was broken for the arena on June 24, 2005, and construction completed on October 11, 2007. The final design, by the Downtown Arena Design Team (a collaboration of the architectural firms Populous, 360 Architecture, Rafael Architects, and Ellerbe Becket), was selected in August 2005. The construction manager responsible for the entire project was M.A. Mortenson Company, based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The complete exterior glass facade system, all metal panels for the adjacent buildings and all accessory metal cladding was custom designed, detailed and supplied by Overgaard Ltd. Hong Kong to Architectural Wall Systems, the Des Moines, Iowa based glazing contractor who installed the building envelope. In total there are approximately 13,000 m² (139,932 square feet) of double insulated glass and 5,000 m² (53,820 square feet) painted aluminum curtain wall panels. In addition there are roughly 200 tons of system profiles and accessories. All of the 2,404 individual glass units on the main building were produced sequentially and completely assembled prior to shipping. The 5 million lbs of rebar used in construction was detailed, fabricated and supplied by The Carter-Waters Corporation of Kansas City. The arena also features a work of public art, The Moons, by artist Chris Doyle, commissioned by the Kansas City Municipal Arts Commission (KCMAC).
The Big 12 Conference Men's Basketball Tournament was held at T-Mobile Center in 2008, marking the tournament's return to Kansas City after three years in Dallas and Oklahoma City. After returning to Oklahoma City in 2009, the T-Mobile Center again hosted the tournament in 2010 and 2011. It is scheduled to be the tournament host site through 2020. Because of Kansas City's proximity to the University of Kansas in neighboring Lawrence, Jayhawk fans who fill the arena for Big 12 Tournament games refer to the arena as "Allen Fieldhouse East" in reference to Kansas' home arena in Lawrence, Allen Fieldhouse. However, due to Iowa State's recent Big 12 Tournament success – winning four tournament championships in a six-year span – and their fanbase's huge migration to the annual event, the T-Mobile Center is referred to by Iowa State fans as "Hilton South", after Iowa State's home venue, Hilton Coliseum.
The arena also houses the College Basketball Experience and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, which is at 1301 Grand Boulevard and connected to T-Mobile Center.
T-Mobile Center opened on time and on budget on October 10, 2007 at 10:10 am. A tour lasted from 10:10 am – 10:10 pm for those who wanted to see it to grab a ticket at the box office. The tour consisted of the College Basketball Experience, two open concession stands: "Taco Taco" and "Oak Street Pizza"; a free drink from UMB Bank and other free items: a UMB Bank cup, a UMB Bank frisbee, and a UMB Bank ice scraper. UMB Bank is the only ATM in the new arena because it is a T-Mobile Center Founding Partner along with Farmland, The University of Kansas Hospital, QuikTrip, and Olevia. There are other T-Mobile Center Founding Partners: H&R Block, Toyota, American Century Investments, YRC Worldwide, and Time Warner Cable of Kansas City.
Photos of the arena
- 2016 Big 12 Wrestling Championship.
- T-Mobile Center and Power & Light District looking from the convention center in 2011.
- 2016 Built Ford Tough PBR Kansas City Clash
- On October 13, 2007, Elton John performed the inaugural concert to a crowd that sold out in less than 90 minutes.
- Garth Brooks performed nine sold-out shows on November 5–12 & 14, 2007. All shows sold out in under two hours. The November 14 show was broadcast live in movie theatres across the United States.
- Tina Turner performed her first live concert in 8 years to a sold-out crowd at the Sprint Center on October 1, 2008 as part of her 50th Anniversary Tour. She returned to the Sprint Center a week later on Oct 8 to perform an additional show.
- The February 27, 2010 concert of Elton John & Billy Joel holds the record for highest grossing show at the arena.
- Roger Waters performed The Wall Live, the highest-grossing tour of all time by a solo artist, at The Sprint Center on October 30, 2010, to a sold-out crowd.
- Foo Fighters performed at the arena on August 30, 2011 and August 21, 2015. Both shows were picketed by the Westboro Baptist Church to which the band offered counter protests of their own.
- Jason Aldean's performance on March 17, 2012 holds the record for concert with the highest attendance, with over 18,000 guests in attendance.
- Madonna played a sold-out show on October 30, 2012. It marked the pop icon's first ever Kansas City performance.
- Paul McCartney performed his first show in Kansas City in nearly four years at Sprint Center on July 16, 2014, playing for nearly 2 hours and 45 minutes to a sold-out crowd.
- Taylor Swift played a total of six sold-out shows at the T-Mobile Center. She played two shows on the Fearless Tour on August 8, 2009 & April 2, 2010, two on The Red Tour on August 2 & 3, 2013, and two on The 1989 World Tour on September 21 & 22, 2015.
- Chris Brown – The R&B/Pop sensation kicked off his One Hell Of a Nite Tour on August 12, 2015, at the Sprint Center to a sold-out crowd, along with supporting acts Fetty Wap and Kid Ink.
- Black Sabbath performed at T-Mobile Center for their farewell The End Tour on February 17, 2016.
- AC/DC played their "final show" with Brian Johnson as lead vocalist at T-Mobile Center to a sold-out show on February 28, 2016.
- Ed Sheeran performed the first United States show of his ÷ Tour on June 29, 2017.
- OneRepublic opened the 16th Annual Honda Civic Tour with Fitz and the Tantrums and James Arthur at the Sprint Center on July 7, 2017.
- R&B group Xscape kicked off the second part of their The Great Xscape Tour, bringing along fellow R&B groups SWV and Bell Biv DeVoe as opening acts on July 5, 2018.
- Drake and rap trio Migos kicked off their Aubrey & Three Migos Tour on August 11, 2018 after much rescheduling before the tour.
- KISS performed for their farewell End of the Road World Tour on February 27, 2019.
- Metallica performed their Worldwired Tour on March 6, 2019, breaking the arena's attendance record with 19,646 in attendance.
- On October 28, 2019, the Canadian singer Celine Dion returned to perform the Courage World Tour, it was her first concert at the arena in 11 years.
Possible major-league sports
The Kansas City Brigade played at the T-Mobile Center for one season before the original AFL folded after the 2008 postseason. However, the revamped AFL brought arena football back to the T-Mobile Center in 2011, with the team playing as the Kansas City Command.
William "Boots" Del Biaggio, III, made an offer to purchase the Nashville Predators of the NHL with the intention of bringing the team to the T-Mobile Center. However, Del Biaggio has since joined a group of Nashville investors in an effort to keep the Predators in Nashville. In June 2008, Kansas City's hopes to land the Predators took another blow as Del Biaggio ran into legal trouble over a multitude of unpaid loans, culminating in him filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, effectively ending any chance of Del Biaggio moving the Predators to Missouri. On January 10, 2007, it was reported the Los Angeles Clippers have taken an interest in moving to the arena. New York Islanders owner Charles Wang announced the Islanders will play a preseason game September 22, 2009 at the T-Mobile Center against the Los Angeles Kings. Local media reported anonymous team sources stated the game was a test of the Kansas City market. In 2007, Kansas City and the T-Mobile Center also attempted to attract relocation of the Pittsburgh Penguins, but the Penguins reached a deal with the City of Pittsburgh to build a new arena, the CONSOL Energy Center (now PPG Paints Arena), and stay in Western Pennsylvania. The T-Mobile Center had also been looked at as a possible relocation spot for the NBA's New Orleans Hornets and the Sacramento Kings (the latter of which had played in Kansas City) before both teams settled their local issues. As recently as 2015, Kansas City was considered as a potential site for potential National Hockey League expansion, but the consensus among those who had the resources to buy an expansion franchise for the arena was that the NHL's asking price was too high.
Despite losing out on pro teams, the NBA and NHL have held preseason games at T-Mobile Center. The most recent NHL preseason game, between the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild, took place on September 28, 2017; the most recent NBA preseason game, between the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers, took place on October 13, 2017.
Other sporting events
- The CBE Classic is held every year at T-Mobile Center. The event was first held on November 19, 2007 and November 20, 2007.
- AVP Pro Beach Volleyball's Hot Winter Nights Tour was held at Sprint Center on January 12, 2008.
- The PBR holds a Built Ford Tough Series event at T-Mobile Center annually since 2008. Prior to 2008, the event was held at Kemper Arena.
- The Kansas City Brigade of the Arena Football League played their 2008 season at T-Mobile Center. They returned in 2011 after the 2009 AFL season was canceled due to financial reasons and the 2010 season saw Kansas City decide to take a break from Arena Football. The team officially folded after the 2012 season.
- The NCAA Women's Volleyball Final Four was held at the T-Mobile Center on December 16 and 18, 2010.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins faced the Los Angeles Kings on September 27, 2011 in front of a sold-out crowd of 17,779. The Penguins won the NHL pre-season game 3–2 in a shootout.
- The Kansas Jayhawks men's basketball team has played at least one regular season non-conference game in the T-Mobile Center every season since the arena opened, starting with an 88–51 victory over the Ohio Bobcats on December 15, 2007, carrying over a tradition from Kemper Arena. Jayhawk fans tend to refer to the arena as "Allen Fieldhouse East", a reference to Allen Fieldhouse, the Jayhawks' home arena in Lawrence, KS. As of December 6, 2017, Kansas' record in these games is 8–3.
- On October 7, 2016, the arena hosted the Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions.
- The UFC made its first visit to the state of Missouri visiting with a Flyweight Championship fight in April 2017 UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Reis. Tim Elliott, who at the time trained in nearby Saint Joseph, fought on the card. Elliott was born and raised 200 miles away in Wichita, Kansas.
- The NCAA Women's Volleyball Final Four was held at the T-Mobile Center on December 14 and 16, 2017.
- The Arena hosted the general sessions of the 2009 National Catholic Youth Conference, a biannual event which hosts over 20,000 Catholic youth from across the country. The general sessions were held in conjunction with the Kansas City Convention Center, where overflow seating was offered.
- World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) hosted the last ever episode of WWE's ECW on Syfy on February 16, 2010. WWE's new Pay Per view (PPV) WWE Money in the Bank was held at the arena on Sunday, July 18, 2010. WWE also hosted a Monday Night Raw here on September 5, 2016 and April 24, 2017.
- On Friday, June 8 and Saturday, June 9, 2012, it played host to the Kansas City audition stages in the second season of the Fox singer search programme The X Factor.
The arena's vicinity is served by four interstate highways:
and four US routes:
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- Center, Sprint (March 6, 2019). "March 6, 2019: @Metallica's WorldWired Tour performed to 19,646 fans – the highest attended show in #SprintCenter history. #MetInKC Thank you, #KansasCity!".[non-primary source needed]
- Duhatschek, Eric. Balsillie shouldn't overplay his hand The Globe and Mail, June 13
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