‘T-Mobile Center’ demonstrates big investment in Kansas City region

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — T-Mobile is making a big commitment to the metro area by paying to call Kansas City’s downtown arena the “T-Mobile Center” for the next 12 years.

The disappearance of the Sprint name may not signal big changes for our region.

T-Mobile says it will continue to pay naming rights at Kansas City’s downtown arena through 2032. In announcing the name change the company says there will be new perks for T-Mobile customers and upgrades at the arena.

T-Mobile and Sprint customers will continue to receive a fast pass entrance to concerts and sporting events.

And the company will continue to provide free wi-fi for everyone around the arena. The company says it’s investing to keep a second headquarters in Overland Park, Kan., for about 6,000 former Sprint employees.

“The economic damage has already been done,” said economist Chris Kuehl, of Armada Corporate Intelligence. “Sprint was sliding out of competition. It could not contend. It is now part of a top three provider. So it will make it. Prior to that, you were really worrying, because if they didn’t merge with someone like T-Mobile they would just vanish. That would have been disastrous.”

Kuehl is encouraged that T-Mobile’s branding commitment in Kansas City means the company is likely to maintain operations here for at least the next 12 years. Although the region is likely to see the elimination of duplicate T-Mobile and Sprint stores, and other cost cutting measures.

Affordable cost of living and lower real estate costs also have attracted T-Mobile to the Kansas City region.

In an era where more are working for home, keeping those costs down have become more important for big corporations.

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