Sedgwick County approves arena agreement with SMG

Rodney Price
December 11, 2019 - 11:51 am
Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita

KNSS News

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The Sedgwick County Commission approved a new contract with SMG Management to continue operating Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita. 

The new deal starts January 1, and goes to the year 2030 and possibly to 2035 if the county makes $1.7 million over the next decade. 

SMG will provide $1.50 of each per-ticket facility fee to be used exclusively for arena capital improvement projects.  The county will match that starting in 2021.

Commissioner Jim Howell supported the new deal and what it means for the future of the arena.

"This (contract) extends that...significantly.  I think we have to obviously plan ahead have a plan and take care of our facility," he said.

SMG is currently bidding for NCAA Tournament games that will take place between 2023 and 2026.

Under the agreement, the arena's reserve fund is projected to extend to the year 2040.  SMG will also invest $250 thousand into the arena.

Commissioner Michael O'Donnell was the lone no vote as the measure passed 4-1.

In other county news, the commission approved an agreement with public TV station KPTS for broadcasting and closed captioning of commission meetings next year.  

An expansion of the 11th floor courtroom in the Sedgwick County Courthouse was given the green light.  The $173 thousand project will take 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 months to complete.

The county also approved a one-time funding request by the Wichita Family Crisis Center for just over $29 thousand. 

A presentation on the county's 2019 road and bridge projects was given.  Commissioners also heard a report regarding priorities for the 2020 Kansas legislative session.

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