Wichita KS has Century II Concert Hall, a dilapidated and possibly set to be torn down Kansas Coliseum complex — Britt Brown Arena and the pavilions — which the Sedgwick County manager plans to close in February
But Wichita now has the new INTRUST Bank Arena. This arena was originally opposed by city leaders, but a group of determined investors decided Wichita would have one so they pooled their money, got an ordinance on the ballot and spent millions in deceptive advertising to pass a proposal for a 1 cent sales tax to pay for this white elephant. It took a long time to find a place downtown where it would destroy only a minimum of the old city’s buildings and they are still working out a parking plan for all those people who will visit this new arena. Many young people were lured into this believing it would bring more rock concerts to town. But the reality is that Wichita is just not a good market for big named bands and this new arena will probably not change that.
The INTRUST Bank name was bought for $8.75 million. Now the other arena’s the town has may suffer from underfunding or we may loose some, such as the Kansas Coliseum, which has been in this city since the 1970s. It serves a number of purposes, but the new arena crowd ran ads warning the taxpaysers would spend millions fixing it up or it could just pay 1 cent for a brand new arena. Also the selling of the name cheapens the arena and shows that capitalism has reached a new low in public standards. Do I write a check at the new arena or see an event?