KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Crews are working to finish renovating Kansas City's Kemper Arena into the new Hy-Vee Arena just weeks before the facility hosts its first pickleball tournament.
Foutch Brothers bought the Kemper Arena from the Kansas City Council 18 months ago for just $1. The real estate development company is spending $39 million to renovate it, The Kansas City Star reported .
The arena will serve as a youth and adult sports facility with various retailers, such as coffee shops, arcades, games and wellness businesses. Crews are working to install flooring and prepare retail spaces in the facility.
The old arena had 19,500 seats. The new arena has 5,000 upper level seats and 3,500 lower level seats.
Hy-Vee acquired the naming rights in May.
Kansas City Councilman Scott Taylor said the facility will draw visitors from around the country.
"Every weekend is basically booked for tournaments, whether it's volleyball, basketball, pickleball, a lot of other sports," he said.
The arena is scheduled to host its first pickleball tournament Sept. 21 and will open to the public Oct. 5.
The weekend of opening festivities will include a happy hour, said Beth Omecene Epperson, marketing manager.
Taylor said the Harlem Legends — retired Harlem Globetrotters players — will also make an appearance.