The Kansas City Mavericks and Spectra Venue Management have a new six-year lease for the team to call the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena home, running through the 2023-24 season.
The terms of the lease were approved by a unanimous vote of the Independence City Council on Sept. 17.
"We wish this could have been a 10-year lease extension, because we're not going anywhere," team President and General Manager Brent Thiessen said at a news conference before Wednesday's team scrimmage at the arena. "But our lease cannot go beyond the lease Spectra has, so our two agreements will run concurrently."
Thiessen said he could not give an exact dollar amount on the new lease, but he said the Mavericks pay the city $8,000 rent for each of their 36 home games. The team also pays $1,000 per month for its shop at the arena.
"There are variables involved," Thiessen explained, "with attendance, food and beverage, things like that, but I can say that each night we play a game in SEC Arena, we pay $8,000."
Thiessen hopes the announcement puts to rest the rumors that have hounded the team since owner Lamar Hunt Jr. began construction of a hockey venue in Kansas last year.
"I have been here since day one, and since day one, this is the only place our fans’ beloved Mavericks were going to play," Thiessen said. "Independence is our home, and Independence is always going to be our home."
The announcement thrilled Independence Mayor Eileen Weir.
“Oh man, this is huge," she said. "Independence is proud of our hometown team and look forward to many more great games with the Kansas City Mavericks.”
“Our community and all of Eastern Jackson County has enjoyed a love affair with this team, and we will be able to do so for many, many years to come.”
The Mavericks have played at the city-owned arena since the team was established in 2009, and they have ranked near the top in attendance in the old Central Hockey League and, for the last four seasons, the ECHL.
“It's an honor to play in front of the best fans in the league in a first-class venue like this arena," Thiessen said. "We are excited to show that we are here to stay. I would also like to thank the city of Independence as well as Spectra. I appreciate their hard work and support through this process.”
Some new additions to the arena were also announced at the news conference, including an improved Wi-Fi network, larger and additional video boards, a new LED lighting system and a party patio outside of the main entrance.
“The Mavericks have called Silverstein Eye Centers Arena home since it opened in 2009,” said Spectra’s arena general manager Larry Hovick. “The team requested a lease extension to show their strong desire to stay in Independence and continue to grow their fan base for years to come.”
"It's been interesting for me, since I've been the general manager just five months, but I have enjoyed working with Brent and the Mavericks. Brent is that little brother I never had – we might fight a little but, we love and respect each other. I've really enjoyed working with him and the team.”
"It is a big day," Hunt said. "I think this proves we have the best team, at the best time in the best venue. We're not going anywhere."