Neal Patterson, the CEO of Cerner Corp. and a lifetime director of the American Royal Association, hinted that the organization’s future commitment to Kansas City might be on the rocks as the city works toward determining the fate of Kemper Arena. “It is the American Royal — it doesn’t have to be in Kansas City,” Patterson said at an American Royal event.
The city is considering dueling plans for Kemper Arena, which is also home to the American Royal complex. The organization, which holds horse shows, livestock shows, a barbecue contest and other events, has been in Kansas City since 1899.
The Royal presented a plan to the city, which owns the lease to Kemper Arena, asking to demolish the arena and replace it with a multipurpose center and an adjoining pavilion at a cost of $60 million. A competing plan would renovate the existing space for $20 million.