Silverstein Eye Centers Arena will have a new professional sports team tenant.

Joining the ECHL’s Missouri Mavericks and MASL’s Kansas City Comets will be the Kansas City Phantoms of the Champions Indoor Football League (CIF).

“We are thrilled to be coming to Independence to play our games in the Silverstein Eye Centers Arenas,” said Dr. Ken Vehec, who along with Antonio Hori, will be co-owners of the new team that will open play March 13 against Sioux City.

“We want to have the noisiest, most enthusiastic fans in the league, much like your Missouri Mavericks have in the ECHL,” Vehec said in a phone conversation from his home base in Orlando, Fla. “We have made many trips to the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena and feel like it is the perfect venue for our new team.

“We want to have a Kansas City feel to our team. We’re going to recruit many players from the metro area and we know how many great high school and college players there are in the Kansas City area, and we want to give them the opportunity to play for the Phantoms. And we promise to give our fans the type of action they don’t just see – they feel it!”

The Phantoms will be part of the Northwest Division of the CIF along with Sioux City, Omaha and Bismarck, N.D.

“We are so excited to bring a new football team that will carry on the strong tradition of sports in Kansas City,” added Vehec, who brings experience from the Arena Football League as he was a former partner with the Orlando Predators. “We intend to bring a fan friendly, affordable product that is part of the community and a competitor on the field the city can be proud of.

“We looked at a number of markets and came to the conclusion this was the best fit for this brand of football with knowledgeable sports fans and a community that has shown it will support its local teams. We’re excited to be placing a franchise in an area of growth and innovation.”

Through his sports and entertainment psychology practice he has worked various sports, including with the NFLPA and PGA tour professionals.

“Silverstein Eye Centers Arena is proud to welcome the KC Phantoms to our family of sports teams, the Missouri Mavericks and the Kansas City Comets,” said Todd Mitchell, general manager of SEC Arena. “We look forward to providing another entertainment option for the community.”