KANSAS CITY, Mo. – UMKC Athletics announced today the signing of a two-year deal for the use of Hy-Vee Arena, effective immediately. With this agreement in place, UMKC will receive full access for both of its cross country and track and field teams to use Hy-Vee Arena as a practice facility as well as being the official indoor home for the winter season. Historically, the programs have practiced inside Swinney Recreation Center on the UMKC campus.
“This is an exciting time for UMKC Athletics, and I am thrilled our Cross Country and Track and Field teams can benefit from our new community partnership,” said Director of Athletics Dr. Brandon Martin. “Providing first-class facilities for our teams to train in is of utmost importance to our vision and forward movement. This is also a great opportunity to activate our brand, and grow awareness locally and nationally of Kansas City’s Division I program. We are thankful for Steve Foutch’s partnership, and look forward to our collaboration.”
Both teams will have full admittance to the locker rooms, equipment storage rooms, athletic training rooms and additional services. UMKC will have first priority in the scheduling of practices and events during this two-year agreement over other collegiate, high school and club programs around the Kansas City area.
“The facility has been absolutely amazing to us,” stated interim head coach Benaud Shirley. “The 350-meter track is truly one of a kind as there are no other indoor tracks that size. They usually do not go past 300 meters, with the exception of Notre Dame.
“Training at Hy-Vee Arena will be a major difference-maker in our ability to truly prepare for competitions. In regards to recruiting and creating a culture of pride, this place will truly be a game changer for us performance-wise.”
This announcement is another step towards improving both athletic facilities, and the student-athlete experience, at UMKC. There are Roo branding opportunities actively being explored at Hy-Vee Arena. Some of that will include signage, banners and architecture around the track level, in the main entrance space, the weight room and creating a refueling station.
“In our quest to provide a diverse, integrated solution to the mind, body and spirit for both the recreational participant and the most elite athlete, having UMKC in our facility is the validation we needed for others to know we are serious about our concept,” said Steve Foutch, CEO of Foutch Brothers. “This amazing group of student-athletes on the UMKC track and field team will set the mark for the highest achievement possible. We hope that our facility can provide the means to reach their greatest aspirations.”
Previously known as Kemper Arena, Hy-Vee Arena has undergone recent innovations that now includes 82,000 feet of hardwood flooring and a 350-meter track. The Kansas City Renegades, a minor league football franchise in the Champions Professional Football League, plays all of its home games in the 19,500-square-foot arena.
The UMKC Track and Field team will continue its season on Jan. 12 at the Wildcat Invitational in Manhattan, Kan.
– UMKC –