South Overland Park on its way to a new hockey arena

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Plans to build a hockey arena in south Overland Park are pushing forward after the city council approved the project Monday night. Now developers are appealing to the state to help finance it.

The development of the land at 159th and Antioch is already well underway, with houses, apartments, retail, and a hospital all either already built or in the process of being built. Those who live there have mixed views on whether a hockey arena would be good or bad for this area.

Many residents packed into the city council meeting, which went well past 11:00 Monday night.

City council members approved the entire plan, which includes three hotels, five parking garages and a Cosmosphere museum. The 7,500 seat hockey arena is expected to cost more than $200-million dollars, and developers want STAR bonds to pay for it. If approved, the developers would use sales tax to pay off the debt.

While the City Council discussed financing Monday night during the public hearing, it will ultimately be the state’s decision whether to issue STAR bonds.
Once built, the hockey arena is expected to attract thousands of people from out-of-state to visit south Overland Park. While some support this project, others believe it’s getting too big.

“It’s changed from a normal kind of development to a high density commercial entertainment type district. That totally contradicts the investment that people have already made in the subdivision,” said Ed Herman, Overland Park resident.

Those involved in hockey are eager for the arena.

“We spent eight of the 10 weekends in the winter traveling to other cities, St. Louis, we just got back from Minnesota this weekend from a hockey tournament up there, so economic development wise, it would be great to bring some of that money into the City Of Overland Park,” said Joe Drimmel, who supports the arena.

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