Tag: Minor Leagues

‘Marquee Project’ On Deck in Wichita

DOWNTOWN DESTINATION: The 6,000-seat Riverfront Stadium sits beside the Arkansas River in Wichita, Kan. (Courtesy DLR Group) $75M Riverfront Stadium is new home of Triple-A Wind Surge The ribbon cutting is on hold for Riverfront Stadium in Wichita, Kan., because of the COVID-19 crisis, but when it finally opens, the minor league ballpark will signal a rebirth for sports in general and the city’s downtown redevelopment. The $75 million project is the home of the Wichita Wind Surge, the Miami Marlins’ Triple-A affiliate. The team relocated from New Orleans after last season. DLR Group designed the ballpark, and J.E. Dunn and Eby Construction built it. Riverfront Stadium was close to completion by mid-March, the point at which sports started to shut down because of the novel coronavirus.  From start to finish, officials laid out an aggressive 14-month design-build schedule, said Lou Schwechheimer, the team’s managing general partner.  The stadium stayed […]

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Geography, Not Sponsor, Has Naming Rights in Wichita

WICHITA THIRD BASE LINEMAN: Club seating sits on the third base side of Riverfront Stadium in Wichita, Kan. (Courtesy DLR Group) ‘It’s part of a grander vision,’ Wind Surge owner says The new $75 million minor league ballpark in Wichita will open without a naming-rights partner. Given the COVID-19 crisis, it’s a tough call as to exactly when its doors will open after things get back to normal across the country. For now, Riverfront Stadium is the official name for the home of the Wichita Wind Surge, the Miami Marlins’ Triple-A affiliate. Wichita city officials say the current name remains a “placeholder” until a naming-rights deal is signed, according to a story on kansas.com. Lou Schwechheimer, the team’s managing general partner, offered a different take of the situation. “We decided to make it Riverfront Stadium because it’s part of a grander vision, creating a baseball and entertainment village,” Schwechheimer said. […]

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Wichita Weighs Extending Netting at Ballpark

A rendering shows the minor league ballpark being built in Wichita, Kan., where protective netting may stretch to the foul poles. (Courtesy DLR Group) Designer DLR Group ready with changes after foul ball strikes girl at Astros game Developers of a new Triple-A ballpark in Wichita could expand protecting netting to the outfield foul poles after a young girl was hospitalized after being struck by a foul ball at a Houston Astros game. DLR Group, design consultant for the $75 million facility opening in April, has made preliminary changes to its blueprints after project officials sent the firm an email hours after the May 29 incident at Minute Maid Park. “They’re thinking of revisiting it,” said Tom Tingle, DLR Group’s client leader in Kansas City. To this point, no decision has been made to extend netting, Tingle said,. The ballpark development team is expected to address the issue at its next […]

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Fresno Controversy Catches Teams’ Eyes

Las Vegas Ballpark is one of the venues adopting a “two-eyes” rule for videoboard programming. (Courtesy Las Vegas Ballpark) Minor league ballparks recommit to monitoring videoboard content After last week’s videoboard controversy at Chukchansi Park, home of the Fresno (Calif.) Grizzlies minor league baseball team, venues across the country are re-examining their videoboard programming procedures. The Grizzlies apologized hours later for the Memorial Day blunder, in which the board displayed a video showing Ronald Reagan’s 1981 presidential inaugural speech calling out foreign dictators while showing the faces of North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro and then flashing a picture of freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Reports of the video drew criticism, and three brands reportedly cut sponsorship ties with team because of it. “What was supposed to be a day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country was overshadowed by […]

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New Vegas Ballpark’s a Winner

An aerial view shows Las Vegas Ballpark, which opened April 9 in Summerlin. (Tom Donoghue) With pool and upscale food, it’s part diamond, part Strip The weather has been a bit too brisk to enjoy the outfield swimming pool early in the season. Otherwise, though, the new Las Vegas Ballpark has been a big hit since it opened April 9. “The first seven [games] were unbelievable,” said Don Logan, president and chief operating officer of the Pacific Coast League’s Las Vegas Aviators, the Oakland Athletics’ Triple-A affiliate and the ballpark’s tenant. “The only thing that could have been better was the weather. We had 50 mph winds on opening night, which settled down to 30 mph winds the next night. A local high school lacrosse team rented the pool and didn’t seem to mind the 70-degree water. It’s a little chilly for mortals right now.” That will change as summer […]

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