Tuesday, September 08, 2009

New Stadium Site for Wizards

It's been a while since Wizards fans have heard anything about what was going on out at the old Bannister Mall site. The last we heard was that the project had stalled due to the state of the economy. It had also been a while since we'd heard from team president, Robb Heineman. Well now we hear about and from both at the same time. Heineman returned to post on Bigsoccer tonight with an update on the stadium situation. For those (like myself) who were fans of the Baninster location, it's not the best news, as it appears that the Bannister location is now moving to the back burner.

Instead, it looks like the Wizards and OnGoal have been working with the Unified Government and the State of Kansas on a potential stadium site, likely out in the Legends area (which has been a rumor making the rounds lately). It's good to see that the team is not just sitting around waiting for the economy to pick back up, but it sucks that a site more centrally located to the metro is now taking a back seat.

Still, it's good to see movement on this front. Also, it's my understanding that the deal at Bannister is not dead yet, and I wouldn't expect it to be after the time and money OnGoal has already put into it. In fact, an announcement on this deal could force the hand of the city of Kansas City and force some movement to try and keep the project at Banister alive. The team can't wait around forever for it, even if it is a more central location, as Heineman says, they need a stadium deal done fast.

UPDATE: The Star article about the project is up on the Star's website with more information on exactly where the stadium would go. It would be basically right across the street from Nebraska Furniture Mart, who actually were the ones to approach the team about the site out at the Legends. Like the plan out at Bannister, the new plan will include youth soccer fields as well as an office complex for Cerner. Basically it will become what the Bannister project was going to be, but with the commercial aspect already in place. The Star also had a preliminary drawing of what the new site will look like.


Reepicheep said...

I think the Legends area is FAR better than trying to revitalize the Bannister area.

Legends is ready-made. It won't deter fans from coming, in fact, I think it will draw more than Bannister would.

CAB sucks. They have to move on this SOON.

Anonymous said...

It depends on how you look at it. Yes the area is already developed, which means less money needs to go in to do it, which is a good thing. But is that better than a more centralized location? I don't know. I live on the East side of town and I now need to start reevaluating my season tickets if this happens. I'm tired of driving all the way out to CAB and if the Wizards permanent home moved out there I may just say screw it and watch on TV.

Anonymous said...

One of the primary reasons the Bannister Mall closed was crime. There was an average of over one auto a day stolen from the parking lot. Now, in these hard times, it appears that the Lexis & BMW and whole expensive Johnson County re-supply is Gone dealing a severe blow to the area auto theives, not to mention others who practice the outlaw trade. And to the police, who may have to take a report and, if a thief gets caught, all that other paperwork, distracating from murder investigations.

Anonymous said...

I love poker.

It nice to see ONGOAL wasted all that money (lobbying the state and local governments, plus paying for phase I of Hillcrest redevelopment/destruction.)

Nice to see your season ticket sales, concessions, and team apparel proceeds, all going to such a worthy cause.

Not to mention another promise (Hillcrest Stadium) from this ownership to this community broken. I can imagine how I would feel if I lived in the Hillcrest neighborhood knowing one more person/group quit on me.

Anonymous said...

I blame the city of kansas city and the mayor for delaying the project. Nothing but waste of money and time, Now what will they do with the demolished mall and all the hope given to the residents of hillcrest area. City is the loser- lost revenue on sales tax etc.

Anonymous said...

City is definitely part of the reason for the failure, stupid bickering between the mayor and city council led to them not actually doing real work. The city and people of south KC now lose out on this development because of it. KC government incompetence that we have grown used to. What a waste, I'm glad I don't live in south KC, I'd be pissed at the council and mayor more than I already am.

MOUFWASH said...

much. much better location, way less risky to investors and the filthy rich Nebraska Furniture Mart (Warren Buffet) as a backer certain helps..

yea the Bannister idea would help the area but the place closed for a reason before, on top of that the 2 major pro sports teams just got stadium upgrades on the tax payers dime..

Better to change the plan to one that will actually work than stay the course on one doomed to fail.. Drive across town (East Siders) is better than a drive across the state (STL)

C. A. Nickless said...

In the first place the Sprint Center should really have been built as a soccer stadium. It was kind of stupid of Kansas City and the majority of voters to want a new stadium for no team and not to push for a stadium for a team.
Second, I'm kind of torn between the two locations. Wyandotte really needs this and also has the entertainment and shopping venues in place whereas, though the Bannister area needs it to, as a whole that part of town doesn't need another sports team.
As an alternative, and as a Downtowner, may I suggest the area behind Berkley Riverfront Park. The Port Authority is trying to figure out a use for it, the GAO or some federal entity is looking to build there. Why not put the Wizards stadium there? It would also maybe spur Cerner to put offices Downtown and contribute to revitalizing the core.

Anonymous said...

Bannister failed the way most enclosed malls have failed. It wasn't just the area.

Also unlike Bannister, OnGoal will not own any of the retail land out at the Legends. AKA less money

Anonymous said...

Why not the park downtown? Because it's a horrible location and would be a total and complete pain in the ass to get into and out of. Plus that puts us right back with dealing with the city of KC and we've seen how well that has gone so far.

C. A. Nickless said...

Actually, Berkley Park has some great interstate access with direct access to I-35 and I-70 is only a half mile away - about as far if not closer than any suburban placement. As for the City of Kansas City, management might have problems, but that doesn't mean things won't change, and I don't mean just for KC but for the suburbs as well (KCK point in case as they have changed for the better through the Unified Government).