The newly renovated Hy-Vee Arena in Kansas City’s West Bottoms is like a giant sports coworking space, said Luke Wade.
Coffee shops, restaurants, chiropractors, physical therapists, and other offerings are joining his adult sports and events company in the revamped former Kemper Arena facility, said Wade, founder of KC Crew.
And although the arena officially opens Oct. 5, KC Crew starts its league play Sept. 17, giving their teams the opportunity to be the first to enjoy the new sports complex, he said.
“We’re not only running leagues there at Hy-Vee Arena, but we’re also moving all of our offices into the space too,” he added.
Registration for the fall leagues ends Sept. 8, he said.
Opening day at the arena will involve the world’s biggest happy hour, tours, and KC Crew will be running pickup games in the space, he added.
The renovation of the arena was extensive, said Wade.
It’s large open bowl shape with stadium seats has been removed, with developers cutting the space in half vertically to add 12 full-size courts across two levels, he said.
The courts can be used for basketball, indoor volleyball, cheerleading and more, he added.
Developers also added a running track around the top level that at 350 meters will be the biggest indoor running track in the inner continental U.S., said Wade.
KC Crew’s move into the arena comes just after a period of growth for the startup, following its expansion into the Northland and south into Overland Park, along with taking over the Kansas City Star’s former offices to create Bar + Rec, a space expected to open in 2019.
KC Crew has grown from Wade and his friends renting a softball field for after-work games to 10,000 members in six years across 13 different sports and activities, ranging from pickleball to karaoke, he said.
By the end of 2018, KC Crew plans to carry 20,000 players city-wide, he said.