Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, July 13, 2021

The essence of short-sightedness is that, as Americans are notoriously getting fatter and fatter, the brand-new Sprint Center in Kansas City should have been constructed with stadium seats that are narrower than average, all for the purposes of achieving NHL/NBA-level capacity.

But limited space for the downtown arena forced designers to make about 25 percent of the seats, especially in the corners, only 18 inches wide, a Sprint Center spokeswoman said. The rest in the bowl are 19 and 21 inches wide.

“Our goal was to build a world-class arena,” Shani Ross said. “We obviously wanted to go with what was the standard in the industry.”

But the Sprint Center had to be built on only 8½ acres, and that put space constraints on designers.

The arena’s official capacity is about 18,000, depending on specific event configuration. That’s the consensus bare minimum for a modern-day NHL or NBA barn. Subtract 4,500 — i.e., the cited one-fourth that are sub-width — and that leaves 13,500. Even if you squeeze back in a few more via creative spacing, and make them of sufficient width, the Sprint Center’s still probably got a capacity of around 16,000, tops. Granted, arena operators play loose with “official” capacity (the oldest and easiest trick in the book when it comes to hiding facility revenue streams), but still, this comes off like a shoehorning effort.

It’s sounding more and more like KC is a complete dead end for any hoops or pucks team looking for a new home, or for expansion purposes. If it’s too tight a fit for unfit patrons now, how’s it going to cope with the widening of the Midwestern ass over the next 20 years? Built-in arena obsolescence — by the seat of the pants.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 07/13/2008 07:51 PM
Category: SportsBiz
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2 Feedbacks »
  1. The behinder they get…

    The Sprint Center in Kansas City, says the official Web site, seats “(depending on configuration) approximately 18,000+”.

    It would help if some of those eighteen thousand-plus were supermodels:
    It turns out that one-fourth of the Sprint Center’s…

    Trackback by dustbury.com — 07/14/2008 @ 10:56 PM

  2. ALL-STAR SUNDAY RUMINATIONS…

    With the National Hockey League in the midst of the 2009 All-Star Game festivities in Montreal, now’s as good a time as any for me to take a varied, mid-season assessment on various of-the-moment topics. In no particular order:
    - The All-Star Ga…

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 01/25/2009 @ 8:11 PM

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