Hot pink T-Mobile Center prepares for a chill debut

When the former Sprint Center debuted in 2007, it had a roaring start with Sir Elton John and then a nine-day run by Garth Brooks to launch its debut in Downtown Kansas City. Today, as the newly-renamed T-Mobile Center, the first sounds inside the big glass bowl at 13th and Grand may be basketballs bouncing in late November, according to CityScene KC.

That’s because no concerts or other non-sporting entertainment events are expected at the Downtown venue through at least the end of 2020 because of COVID-19, according to Brenda Tinnen, general manager.

“I’m slightly optimistic about collegiate events,” she told Kevin Collison at CityScene KC.

The now- T-Mobile Center anticipates holding the annual National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Classic tournament in late November, and a pair of marquee college basketball match-ups in December, including KU vs Mizzou, on Dec. 12, and K-State vs Nebraska, a week later.

Until then, its crickets for the T-Mobile Center, which assumes the naming rights deal that was celebrated in 2004. Sprint agreed to pay $1.7 million annually for 25 years, a figure that would rise to $2.5 million, if the arena landed a major pro sports franchise.

At the time, it was a critical private investment to help make the $276 million arena deal a reality. The former Sprint Center, along with the Power & Light District across the street and the corporate headquarters of H&R Block, are considered the key big investments that launched the contemporary revival of Downtown Kansas City in the 2000s.

And, even though the entertainment center features a new name and signature color, one thing hasn’t changed. Tinnen, who has been GM of the arena since it opened its doors 13 years ago, will continue in that role, as will Shani Tate-Ross, vice president of sales and marketing.

“Thank goodness we are still essential,” Tinnen quipped.

Go to CityScene KC – your greater Downtown KC source for news – to read the complete story.

Outdoor dining in Downtown is on tap in Friday’s Dish

The next serving of the Downtown Dish is coming your way at noon today (July 17) on YouTube. This week, host Katy Schamberger @katywrites gets the inside scoop on Downtown’s new top-of-the-line shopping experience from Chantill Goree with @NSOS_showroom.

In addition, you’ll, learn the best spots for Downtown take-out, curbside and patio dining from Liz Cook @LizCookKC @TheFastPitch. Plus, get the scoop on Yoga on the Vine, KC’s newest pop-up yoga! @theprettyfoundation.

The Dish is served free at noon Fridays in our quest to keep you informed and engaged about the Downtown Kansas City dining, drinking and shopping scenes. The Dish is brought to you by @kcstreetcar @godowntownkc @dnakcmo and @lynchpinideas.

Tune in at noon Friday to feast on episode 10, OR any of the previous Dish episodes. Check ’em out at