Plans for the New Agricultural Events Center

October 27, 2011

Yesterday, the American Royal Association and the Kemper family announced a plan to replace Kemper Arena with a new Agricultural Events Center.

When first built in 1974, Kemper was originally intended as a home solely for American Royal events. It later became a full civic arena, hosting concerts, sporting events and various national conventions. The plan for the Agricultural Events Center is to bring the focus of the facility back to agriculture.

“Our roots are livestock here,” said Bob Petersen, President and CEO of the American Royal Association. “We are very mindful of our stockyards heritage.”

The new facility will include two show rings. The main ring will be in a bowl and similar in size to Kemper Arena. A second show ring with retractable walls will sit adjacent to the main ring. Petersen said this area can be used as another show ring or stalling space.

During the American Royal’s fall season, more than 250,000 people flock to Kansas City. Furthermore, these events have an economical impact of more than $70 million. Peterson said the new facility will provide even more economic benefits, especially as breed associations decide to host national shows on the grounds during the summer months. In 2011 alone, Kansas City was home to four junior national shows held on the American Royal grounds.

“The new facility will ultimately be focused on economic activity,” Petersen said. “We are bullish about how youth livestock affects the economic stability of the city. We have a wonderful geographical location and hope to compete for more of those events.”

Within the next six months, The American Royal Association hopes to provide more clarity for completion of the project. Petersen explained they are working out details with the city and building public support in Missouri and Kansas.

Petersen was quick to assure livestock exhibitors that the livestock show should carry on without a hitch because most of the events are currently held in the American Royal Complex, which will only be getting cosmetic upgrades within the current project plans.