WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Update: Dec 7
Mayor Jeff Longwell announced on Thursday that the city is in discussions to bring an affiliated minor league baseball team to Wichita.
The plan is to bring a team that enables the city to bring sales tax and revenue.
Longwell says the city would build a new stadium for the team to play in.
"Deals aren't easy, but we are willing to do what i takes to get the job done," says Longwell.
The Mayor says he believes they'll be able to announce a new affiliated baseball team in Wichita after the MLB winter meetings. If he names the team before MLB signs off, it could harm the deal.
Wichita's Mayor will discuss the future of baseball on Thursday during a Chamber of Commerce Meeting.
Eyewitness News spoke with the President of the Wichita Sports Commission, Bob Hanson, and he said it's time for a new stadium in the Air Capital.
A new team is also part of the discussion. Hanson says Mayor Longwell has expressed an interest in bringing an affiliated minor league team here to Wichita.
If that happened, it would mean the Wingnuts would have to dissolve or find a new home.
Eyewitness News reached out to the team to see what they think about this possibility. We are expecting to hear back.
Hanson says the Wingnuts' lease lasts several more years but the team has been talking with city leaders.
Before a new team can come here though, the city needs to find an existing team that's interested in moving to Wichita and a new stadium is part of that.
"There's been a lot of new stadiums built in the last 10-15 years and it's very difficult to find a good team that's willing to move. 27:43 it becomes even more difficult to move one team because that team needs to have a league" says Hanson.
The Wichita Chamber of Commerce meeting will take place at noon at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Eyewitness News will be there to talk with Mayor Longwell.