Downtown Wichita arena

Wichita Exchange Place TIF should be rejected

Tomorrow's meeting of the Wichita city council will feature a public hearing as to whether a tax increment financing district that benefits Real Development should be modified. The TIF district is already approved in the amount of $9.3 million. The applicants are asking that the city's contribution be increased to $11.8 million, plus approval of changes to the project plan. The first issue we should address is the purpose of these public hearings. Presumably notice of their existence is given not only so citizens and interested parties can plan to attend, but also so that there can be discussion of…
Read More

In Sedgwick County, is there slack time?

As reported in the Wichita Eagle, the Sedgwick County Commission decided to reimburse the county for time its employees spent working on arena-related matters. The money will come from the sales tax that was collected to build the Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita. The amount of money the commission decided to transfer is $1.6 million, although according to the Eagle, the total cost could reach $2.6 million. Here's something of concern to me in the story: "But he [Sedgwick County chief financial officer Chris Chronis] pushed for the money to remain in the arena and pavilions' operating and maintenance…
Read More

Assessment of Wichita’s Intrust Bank Arena’s success premature

Any rational assessment of the success of the Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita must realize that the arena is in its honeymoon period. Will the parade of big-name stars playing to a packed arena continue for long? Will the Wichita Eagle and local television stations continue to breathlessly announce every upcoming event? Until initial enthusiasm dies down and the arena has a track record of a year or more, we simply have no idea what the financial performance of the arena will be. That's what's important. This premature glowing assessment of the arena's success is dangerous in that it…
Read More

Intrust Bank Arena’s missing name

A note to readers: I served as co-manager of Peterjohn's campaign in 2008. The commemorative plaque on the Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita, Kansas. On the commemorative plaque outside the Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita, there's a missing name. The names of eight Sedgwick County commissioners appear, including all who were members of the Commission when the arena sales tax passed in November 2004, all who have served since then, and all present commissioners. Except for one: current third district commissioner Karl Peterjohn. In 2004 Peterjohn led opposition to the sales tax ballot measure that funded the arena.…
Read More

Ticket scalping is a market function, not a criminal activity

At the Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita, some concerts are very popular, which leads to people frustrated at two things: the inability to buy tickets when they go on sale, and then the high prices that ticket scalpers ask for tickets on the aftermarket. I understand the frustration of the stymied ticket buyers. Who wants to pay $300 for a ticket that was sold by the arena's box office for $50? It would be great if everyone who wanted to attend could do so for $50 -- or for $5, for that matter. And that gets to the heart…
Read More