A Backyard Beauty

Sprint Center

  • Kansas City
  • 2007

CHALLENGE. In the early 2000s, downtown Kansas City, Missouri was undergoing a considerable transformation. Plans for a brand new arena, coupled with the addition of a new entertainment district, had ignited a movement city officials believed would influence the downtown area to thrive once again.

In order to design an arena city officials were looking upon to revive excitement in the urban experience, and to demonstrate that Kansas City is home to the best sports architects in the world, Populous partnered with local firms to create the Sprint Center. And because the teams were working so close to home, the pressure was on to get it just right.

INNOVATION. A four-firm group comprised of local Kansas City architects teamed together to create the Sprint Center. Populous served as Architect of Record of the group, officially called the Downtown Arena Design Team. The Sprint Center, completed in 2007, resulted from the Populous-led collaboration between firms genuinely interested in the city’s flourishing development.

The arena features a 360-degree glass façade that creates an ever-changing tapestry of reflective light. Intentionally transparent, the Sprint Center gives outsiders peeks into the arena. And, more spectacularly for fans inside the arena, the transparency offers magnificent views of the Kansas City skyline. The deliberate see-through exterior serves as a physical representation of the clear, wholesome mid-west values the Kansas City community demonstrates.

IMPACT. Designed as a crystalline vessel fronting Grand Boulevard, the Sprint Center brings all of Kansas City together for concerts, family shows, sporting events and community celebrations. Since opening in 2007, it has hosted multiple collegiate basketball tournaments, including events for both men’s and women’s Big 12 basketball. And should a professional hockey or basketball team choose Kansas City as its home in the future, the Sprint Center was designed with professional sports in mind.

Populous gave Kansas City a major anchor for the new entertainment district and a striking icon on a transformed downtown landscape. Populous left a mark on its own backyard, giving the Kansas City community the sophisticated, cutting-edge facility it deserves.