About a decade ago, Rich DeVos looked at Kansas City as a home for his Orlando Magic franchise.
No one is singing, I’m going to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come around the National Hockey League offices. But the record might be on some office shelf as there is a suggestion maybe Kansas City could attract an NHL franchise. Don’t expect to hear Little Richard, Wilbert Harrison, Fats Domino or Paul McCartney recordings blaring away in the Kansas City arena with a NHL team inside the building which opened ten years ago anytime soon. The arena is aging but that’s not the problem for those in Kansas City who would like to see NHL hockey. As of now, there isn’t any ownership group interested, and even if an ownership group did materialize, there are some major obstacles.
If an NHL team returned to town, and Kansas City had a franchise between 1974 and 1976 which left for Denver, would Kansas City’s limited corporate money flow in? Would there be enough for an NHL team and the established NFL Chiefs, baseball Royals, NASCAR, soccer’s Sporting KC and college sports? The answer is there is not enough money now for what Kansas City has. The television market is limited and there aren’t many Fortune 500 companies around Kansas City. That information more than likely influenced ownership groups of the NBA’s Orlando Magic and Seattle SuperSonics along with the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins from moving to Kansas City. Kansas City was never an option for New York Islanders ownership either. The Kansas City Royals baseball team lives on revenue sharing. In fact, years ago, Royals ownership entertained the idea of blocking the New York Yankees cable network from show Yankees-Royals games out of Kansas City unless the team got more TV revenue sharing. The NFL shares massive TV revenues. Kansas City cannot support another major sports franchise from the television and corporate levels. Sports depends on corporate support and Kansas City is spread thin.
The Pittsburgh Penguins ownership checked out Kansas City.