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WICHITA, KS-The newly constructed Intrust Bank Arena officially opened to the public this weekend here in Sedgwick County. The $184.5 million stadium project has been in the works for a number of years and some see it as the beginning of a broader revitalization project for the area.

The arena, which holds 15,000 seats as well and 20 executive and two party suites, sits between William Street on the North, Waterman Street on the South, the tracks on the East and Emporia Street on the West. The sports and entertainment venue has 4,000 parking spaces within a four block radius.

The arena will host a number of entertainment events and will house the Wichita Thunder ice hockey team. It is the largest arena in the state, in terms of available seating. SMG has been contracted to manage the facility.

The Board of Sedgwick County Commissioners allowed Intrust Bank to pay $8.75 million to secure naming rights for 25 years. Additionally Cessna Aircraft Co. took naming rights of the plaza for $3 million; the Concourse was named after Spirit AeroSystems for $3 million. House of Schwan paid $1.28 million for the naming rights of the lounge and alcoholic beverage sales while Pepsi Co. paid $1.08 million for non-alcoholic beverage sales rights, according to the Sedgwick County’s website.

According to a number of media reports over the weekend, many in the city believe this arena could be the start of a revitalization of the surrounding area. Both office and retail space are being looked at in the blocks surrounding the arena from both local and regional companies.

A local consulting firm is currently studying the area to offer suggestions of what would be done to improve the area, according to a KSN report.

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