News » Burnt Ends

Zambonis in the Northland

That huge puck on the horizon? That’s your tax dollars skating away.

The Kansas City, Missouri, Parks Department is thinking about building a new ice rink, even though it hasn't been long since the Penguins treated us like a strung-along lover, only to screw its wife right in front of us.

Now, you sourpuss-types might remark that there's no hope anywhere on the horizon of another NHL hockey team occupying the still-tenantless Sprint Center. And you might complain that the city and its partner, AEG, have already spent $276 million to build the damned thing.

Well, it's not enough.

Now the parks department wants to build a hockey rink that could double as a practice facility for a pro hockey team. You know, just in case. The facility would be designed to accommodate the practice needs of an NHL team, with two or three sheets of ice.

A practice facility would add to the cost of bringing the NHL back to Kansas City. Taxes on hotels and car rentals are paying for most of the Sprint Center, which opens this fall. Earlier this year, outgoing Mayor Kay Barnes mentioned the idea of the city having to spring for a practice facility. The news came after continued promises that, after building the arena, the city wouldn't have to spend another dime to lure a team.

The proposed icehouse came up at the April 10 meeting of the Kansas City Parks Commission. Chairwoman Saundra Aust mentioned discussions about a possible partnership with Platte County. She didn't go into much detail.

The talks came as news to one of Aust's fellow commissioners, Bob Lewellen, who asked Aust the purpose of the new rink and who would pay for it. "Never heard anything about it," Lewellen said.

"Well, you're hearing about it now," Aust said, ready to move on.

She knows how to treat you cynics.

Add a comment