We arrived at the Sprint Center Arena at 1:00 pm and met with Al Tyree, Communications from the Graduate School, in preparation for our scheduled visit with senior leadership members from AEG. We went through security and met Ms. Brenda Tinnen, General Manager, and David Pufford, Director of Operations in one of Sprint Center Arenas conference rooms.
They introduced us to AEG by showing us a 6 minute video regarding AEG’s mission and motto which is “Giving the World a Reason to Cheer”. AEG began in Los Angeles, CA when founder Mr. Anschulz bought the NHL Los Angeles Kings. AEG is 10 years old and originally specifically catered to the Los Angeles community.
Every team that is hosted by an AEG sports facility is part of a charitable foundation and specifically tries to spend funding within the local community. The Sprint Center Arena has 12 founding partners in Kansas City and is specifically trying to attract an NBA and NHL professional team.
The Sprint Sports Arena spans eight an a half acres that seats 18,000 people with 72 suites. The Sprint Arena opened to a black tie event with a ribbon cutting ceremony. As its grand opening event, they featured the Kansas City Symphony.
Ms. Tinnen mentioned that they have benchmarked from previous facilities owned by AEG such as the Staple Center. They also utilized best practices from other facilities around the country.
Their top 3 barriers are:
1. Attracting an NBA/NHL team.
2. Sustaining momentum.
3. Maintaining moral and cultures among the staff.
Ms. Tineman ended around 2:30 pm and Mr. David Pufford gave us a 40 minute tour of the facility. We truly enjoyed this insightful and informative meeting.